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Author of the Life of Calvin, 




Showing that " the Catechism commonly called Dr. Alexander 
tyowelPs," which was sanctioned in the Convocation of Bishops 
and Clergy in 1562, and published 1570, " as a standing 
summary of the doctrines of the English Church," is 
in substance the Catechism of Calvin enlarged, 

Tl&^cvyUxlot, £e (rot xcci rovro e^rca — rot, Xeycy^vu , 
Ex Prefa. Cyriill Caischeseon p. S. ejus Openrm. 



2)fctttct of ffiotwecttcut, 

jo|o|cWoicjoM« BE rr REMEMBERED : That on the fifth day o* 

f" L g # August, in the thirty-ninth year of the Independence 
3WoW Lj C ^ of the United States of America, Elijah Waterman, 
of the said District, hath deposited in this office, the 
title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the 
words following to wit : 

" The Catechism of the Church of Geneva, by the Rev. John 
" Calvin. Translated from the latin by the Rev. Elijah Wa- 
** terman, author of the life of Calvin. With an Appendix, in 
" a letter addressed to William S. Johnson, L. L. D. Showing 
" that « the Catechism commonly called Dr. Alexander Now- 
ft ell's,' which was sanctioned in the Convocation of Bishops 
" and Clergy in 1552, and published 1570, * as a standing sum- 
" mary of the doctrines of the English Church/ is in substance 
" the Catechism of Calvin enlarged." 

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United Static 
entitled " An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing 
the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and pro- 
prietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned.'* 
of the District of Connecticut. 


IN the prefatory address to his Catechism of 
1545, Calvin observes*, to the Ministers of East Fries- 
land, that it becomes all to strive for the unity of the 
Faith, which the Apostle so highly recommends ; and 
with which he immediately connects the one Baptism., 
as a primary means of obtaining it, That all the 
Churches should be agreed in one solemn Confes- 
sion, and in one form of Catechism. That being in 
one spirit, and declaring the truth with one mouth, 
all might be directed to the same Christ. That a 
union in the form of catechising, at least, among the 
Churches, which were agreed in doctrine would 
benefit not only the present generation, but poster- 
ity. That he published his Catechism in Latin, 
that those Churches which were distant from each, 
other, and of different languages, might have a mu- 
tual intercourse in the doctrines of Christ That he 
considered, a Catechism would afford to posterity 
the purest document, from which they might ascer- 
tain the doctrines of their departed Fathers. That 
such a Catechism would be the solemn symbol of 
their faith and communion. That among other rea- 
sons, the request of many persons had induced him 
to prepare a Catechism, which might supercede, in 
the use of the Churches, the shorter one which he had 
a 2 


published seven years before. And that thus the an-, 
cient practice of catechising, which had been abolish- 
ed by the Papists, might be again brought over the 
threshhold, into the Church, to the exclusion of 
those impure and impious superstitions, by winch, 
in Baptism and Confirmation, the mmds of youths 
had been corrupted. 

This short paraphrase of Calvin's Epistle will show 
Iiis object, in composing his Catechism ; that he de- 
signed it to be a compendium of his religious opin- 
ions ; and a standard, by which posterity might as* 
certain, " What is Calvinism, and what is not" The 
purity of his Latin, and the symmetry of his doc- 
trines, recommended it to the attention of the learn- 
ed, and it was, in a short time, translated into the 
German, English, J}utch, Scotch, and Spanish lan- 
guages ; into the Greek, by Henry Stephens, and, 
iinally, into the Hebrew, by the learned Christian 
Jew, 'Emanuel Tremellius. Calvin himself published 
it in the French language, for the use of the Church 
of Geneva. This Catechism is the model after which 
all the subsequent Catechisms of the Reformation 
were formed ; and is an uny. elding proof of the pro- 
found understanding, correct judgment, and power- 
ful talents of its author. He so well arranged his 
subjects, and so correctly defined them, that, after 
the lapse of almost three centuries, his Catechism 
remains a model unimpaired and unrivalfed. 


THE word Catechism is derived from 
the Greek K&mxtrfMf— brevis institution quae 
fit viva voce — <says Pasor in his Lexicon. 
— A short instruction given by word of 
.month* To instruct in the first principles of 
religion, was by the Apostle called Yjxr^m. 
For H%ety is to sound ivith the voiced—and 
KetTq%eiv is to instruct by the voice, in those 
things which you would not commit to writ- 
ing. It has an allusion to the echo, which 
returns the sound, Hence those who ivere 
taught in this manner, in the primitive 
Church, were called Catechumen , and those 
who taught Catechists. For the use of the 
word KaTrj££&see 1 Cor. xiv. 19. Acts xviii. 
£5. Horn. ii. 18. Gal. vi. 6. Luke i. 4. In 
the Catechisms, as they are called, of Cyrill 
of Jerusalem, and in the treatise of Augusiin 
de Catechizandis Rudibus, in the 4th vol. of 
his works, p. 894, are to be found the best il- 
lustrations of the order of catechetical in- 
stnictions in the early ages of Christianity. 
The, Apostles' creed, is a very brief summary 
of the doctrines, discoursed upon in the an- 
vjmt schools of the Catechists. 






Q. 1. Minister. WHAT is the chief 
end of man ? 

A. Child. It is to know God his Cre- 

2 M. What reason have you for this 
answer ? 

C. Because God has created us, and plac- 
ed us in this world, that he may be glorified 
in us. And it is certainly right, as lie is the 
author of our life, that it should advance his 

3 M. What is the chief good of man ? 
C. It is the same thing. 

4 M. Why do you account the knowl- 
edge of God, the chief good ? 

C. Because without it, our condition is 
more miserable than that of any of the brute 

10 The Catechism of the 

5 M. From this then we clearly under- 
stand, that nothing more unhappy can be- 
fall man than not to glorify God. 

C. It is so. 

6 M. What is the true and correct 
knowledge of God ? 

C. When he is so known, that the honour, 
which is his due, is rendered to him. 

7 M, What is the true method of ren- 
dering him due honour ? 

C. It is to put our whole trust in him ; 
to serve him by obedience to his will, all our 
life ; to call upon him in all our necessities, 
seeking in him salvation, and every good 
thing which can be desired ; and finally, to 
acknowledge, both in the heart and with the 
mouth, that he is the sole author of all bles- 

8 M. But that we may discuss these 
things in order, and explain them more ful- 
ly : Which is the first head of your division ? 

C. That we should place our whole con- 
fidence in God. 

9 M. How is that to be done ? 

C . By acknowledging him, Almighty and 
perfectly good. 

10 M. Is this sufficient ? 
C. By no means. 

11 M. Why not? 

C. Because we do not deserve that he 
should exert his power for our assistance, or 
manifest his goodness for our benefit. 

12 M. What more is needful ? 

Church of Geneva. 


C# That each one of us be fully con- 
vinced that God loves him, and that he is 
willing to be to him a Father and a Saviour 

13 M. But how will that be evident to 
us ? 

C. Truly from his word, in which he de- 
clares to us his mercy, and testifies his love 
for us, in Christ. 

14 M. The foundation and beginning of 
confidence in God is then, the knowledge 
of him in Christ ? 

C. Entirely. 

15 M. Now I would hear from you, in 
a few words, the sum of this knowledge ? 

C. It is contained in the Confession of 
Faith, or rather Formula of Confession, 
which all Christians have always held in 
general among themselves. It is common- 
ly called the Symbol of the Apostles, which 
has been received from the beginning of the 
Church among all the pious ; and which was 
either taken from the mouth of the Apostles, 
or faithfully collected from their writings. 

16 M. 'Repeat it. 

C. I believe in God the Father Almighty* 
Maker of Heaven and earth : and in Jesus 
Christ, his only Son, our Lord; who was 
conceived by the Holy Ghost, bom of the vir- 
gin Mary; suffered under Pontius Filate. 
ivas crucified, dead, and buried : He descen- 
ded into Hdl; the third day he arose from 
tJie dead ; ascended into Heaven, and sitteth 
at the right hand of God the Father Mmigh- 


Tlie Catechism of the 

ty ; from thence he shall come to judge the 
living and the dead. I believe in the Holy 
Ghost : the Holy Catholick Church : the com- 
munion of Saints : the forgiveness of sins : 
the resurrection of the body, and the life ever- 
lasting, dm en. 

17 M. That each head mav be under- 
stood, into how many parts shall we divide 
this Confession ? 

C. Into four principal ones. 

18 M. What are they ? 

C. The first respect God, the Father: 
the second, Jesus Christ, his Son. which em- 
braces also the whole subject of man's re- 
demption : the third, the Holy Spirit : and 
the fourth, the Church, and the benefits of 
God towards it. 

19 M. Since there is but one God, why 
do vou name three : the Father, the Son, and 
the Holy Spirit? 

C. Because, in the one substance of God, 
we must consider the Father, as the begin 
ning and origin or first cause of all tilings : 
then the Son, who is his eternal wisdom : 
and lastly the Holy Spirit, as the power of 
God, spread abroad through all things, which 
yet perpetually dwells in him. 

20 M. You mean then, that there is no 
absurdity, although we determine that these 
three distinct persons are in the one God- 
head : and that God is not therefore divided. 

C. It is so. 

91 M, Recite the first part of the Creed 

Church of Geneva. 13 

C. I believe in God the Father Almighty^ 
Creator of Heaven and Earth. 

22 M. Why do you call him, Father? 
C. Chiefly as it respects Jesus Christ, who 

is the eternal word of God begotten of him 
from eternity; and sent into this world and 
declared to he his Son. From hence also 
we understand, that since God is the Fath- 
er of Jesus Christ, he is a Father to us also. 

23 M. In what sense do you give him 
the name of Almighty? 

C. Not in this manner, that he should 
have power and not exercise it ; but that he 
holds all things under his hand and manage- 
ment; to govern the world by his Providence ; 
to order it after his own will; and to com- 
mand all creatures as it pleaseth him. 

24 M. You do not then imagine an idle 
power of God ; but you consider him to be 
one, who has always a hand prepared for op- 
eration, so that nothing is done but by him 
and his appointment. 

C It is so. 

25. M. Why do you add . Maker or Cre- 
ator of Heaven and Earth ? 

C. In as much as he has made himself 
known to us by his works ; in which also he 
is to be sought by us.* For our understand- 
ings are mot capable of comprehending his 
essence. The world itself, therefore, is as 
it were a glass, in which we may discern 

* Romans i, 20, 

The Catechism of the 

him as far as it is for our benefit to know 

£6 M. By heaven and earth* do you not 
understand the whole creation ? 

C. Yes. truly. These two words include 
all things that exist in heaven and in earth. 

27 M. But why do you call God Crea- 
tor only, since it is much more excellent to 
guard and preserve the Creation in its order, 
than to have once created ? 

C. It is not indeed so much as intimated, 
by this expression, that God at once created 
his works, so that he might cast oft the care 
of them afterwards : but it is rather to be ac- 
counted, that as he framed the world in the 
beginning, so he still preserves it ; and that 
the earth and all other things abide, only as 
they are preserved by his power and manage- 
ment. Beside-, as lie upholds all things bj 
his hand, it is evident that he is the supreme 
Moderator and Lord of all. Since then he 
is the Creator of heaven and earth, it be- 
comes us to understand him to be the One. 
who by his wisdom, power, and goodness, 
governs the whole course and order of na- 
ture : who is alike the author of the rain and 
the drouth, of the hail and other tempests, 
and of fair weather: who makes the earth 
fruitful by his bounty, and by withdrawing 
his hand, again renders it barren: from whom 
alike come health and disease : to who^e 
dominion, all things are subject, and to whose 
will, all things are obedient. 

Church of Geneva. 


28 M. What then shall I think of dev- 
ils and wicked men ? Shall I say that these 
also are in subjection to him? 

C. Although God doth not influence them 
by his Spirit ; yet he restrains them by his 
power* as with a bridle, that they cannot 
move themselves, except as he permits. — 
Moreover, he makes them the servants of his 
will, so that they are constrained to pursue, 
unwillingly and without their intention, his 

29 M. What benefit do you derive from 
the knowledge of this subject ? 

C. Very great. For it would go ill with 
us. if any thing was permitted to devils and 
wicked men, without the will of God. In 
that case, knowing ourselves exposed to their 
perverseness, the tranquillity of our minds 
would be destroyed. But now we rest in 
safety, believing them to be curbed by the 
will of God, and held in by restraint, so that 
they can do nothing but by his permission 
and especially since God presents himself to 
us as our guardian and defender. 

50 M. Now let us proceed to the second 

C. That is — To believe in Jesus Christ* 
his only Son. our Lord, 

31 M. What is summarily contained in 
this ? 

C. That the Son of God is our Saviour: 
and at the same time it explains the manner 


The Catechism of the 

in which he has redeemed us from death, and 
obtained life for us. 

32 M. What is the meaning of the name, 
Jesus, by which you call him. 

C. That name in Greek signifies Saviour. 
The Latins have no proper name, by which 
its force can be well expressed. Therefore 
the word Saviour was commonly received. 
Besides, the Angel gave this appellation to 
the Son of God bv the command of God him- 

33 M. Is this of any more weight, than 
if men had given it to him ? 

C. Altogether: For since God would 
have him so called he must of necessity be 
truly what he is called. 

34" M. What then does the word, Christ, 

C. By this title, his office is still better 
expressed. For it signifies, that he was 
anointed, for a Prophet, Priest, and King. 

35 M. How do you know that ? 

C. Because the Scriptures apply anoint- 
ing to these three uses ; and also often as- 
cribe to Christ, these three offices, which we 

36 M. With what kind of oil was he 
anointed ? 

C . Not with visible ; not with such as was 
used in the consecration of ancient Kings, 
Priests, and Prophets, but with more excel- 

* Matthew I 21* 

Church of Geneva. 


lent : Thai is by the grace of the Holy Spir- 
it, which is the substance represented by 
that external anointing. 

57 M. What is the nature of that king- 
dom of his, of which you speak ? 

C. It is spiritual, as it is governed by the 
word and Spirit of God 5 which bring with 
them righteousness and life. 

38 M, What is the nature of Ms Priest- 
hood ? 

C. It is the office and prerogative of 
standing in the presence of God, for obtain- 
ing his favour, and for appeasing his wrath, 
by the oblation of a sacrifice, which is ac- 
ceptable to him. 

39 M. In what sense, do you call Christ 
a Prophet ? 

C. Because when he came into the w T orld« 
he declared himself the Ambassador of the 
Father, and the Interpreter of his will among 
men. And for this purpose, that having ful= 
ly explained the will of the Father, he might 
put an end to all revelations and prophecies. 

40 M. But do you receive any benefit 
from this ? 

C. Truly all these things have no other 
object, but our good. For Christ was en- 
dowed with those things of the Father that 
he might impart them to us, and that we all 
might partake of his fulness. 

41 M. Explain this to me a little more 

C. He w r as filled with the Holy Spirit^ 
b £ 

iS The Catechism of the 

and enriched with all the fulness of its gifts, 
that he might impart them to us, and to each 
one. according to the measure, which the 
Father knew to be expedient for us. Thus 
from him. as the one only fountain, we draw 
whatever we have of spiritual good. 

42 M. What does his kingly office prof- 
it us ? 

C. By it we are enabled to live pious 
and holy lives in liberty of conscience : are 
endowed with his spiritual riches ; and also 
armed with that power which enables us to 
overcome the flesh, the world, sin, and the 
devil ? those perpetual enemies of our souls, 

43 M. What purpose does the Priest* 
hood of Christ answer r 

C. Chiefly as by this means, he is our 
Mediator, who reconciles us to the Father ; 
and also that a way is opened for us to the 
Father, that we may come into his pres- 
ence with confidence, and offer ourselves 
and all that is ours to him for a sacrifice. 
And hence, you may understand in what 
manner he makes us Iris, by his Priesthood, 

44 M. The prophetic office still remains ? 
C. As the office of master was bestowed 

upon the Son of God for his people : the end 
is that he might illuminate them in the true 
knowledge of the Father, instruct them in the 
truth, and make them the family-disciples of 
God, J P 

45 M. This then is the conclusion of all 
you have said : The name, Christ, compre- 

Church of Geneva. 

hends three offices, which the Father confer- 
red on the Son, that he might abundantly com- 
municate their power and fruit unto his own. 
C It is so. 

46 M. Why. do you call him the only 
Son of God, since God distinguishes us all 9 
by that appellation ? 

C. Because, if we are the sons of God, we 
have it not from nature ; but only from grace 
and adoption, does God hold us in that con- 
dition. But the Lord Jesus, who is begot- 
ten of the substance of the Father, and is of 
the same essence with him, is by the best 
right called the only Son of God; since he 
alone is so, by nature.* 

47 M. You understand, then, that this 
honour is due to him by the right of nature, 

nicated to us by gratuitous kindness, in as 
much as we are his members. 

C. Entirely. Therefore in respect to this 
communication, he is called the first born 
among many brethren.f. 

48 M. In what sense do you understand 
him to be our Lord ? 

C. As he is appointed by the Father, 
that he might have us under his dominion ; 
that he should administer the kingdom of 
God in heaven and on earth, and should be 
the head of angels, and of believers. 

* John i. 1. Eph. i. 3. Heb. i. 1. 
\ Rom. viii. 29. Colos. i. 15, 18, 

and i 

tally his own ; but it is commu- 


The Catechism of the 

49 M. What is meant by that which 
follows ? 

C. It shows the manner in which the Son 
is anointed by the Father, that he should be 
our Saviour ; namely, that having taken our 
flesh, he performed all those things which 
were necessary for our salvation, as they 
have been here declared. 

50 M. What do you mean by these two 
sentences: Who teas conceived of the Holy 
Ghost, bom of the Virgin Mary? 

C. That he was formed by the miracu- 
lous and secret power of the Holy Spirit, in 
the womb of the Virgin, of her substance, 
that he should be the true seed of David, as 
was foretold by the Prophets.* 

51 M. Was it then needful that he 
should put on our flesh ? 

C. Certainly, because it was necessary 
that man's disobedience to God should be 
expiated also in human nature. Nor. indeed 
otherwise would he have been our Mediator, 
to accomplish the reconciliation of men with 

52 M. You say then that it behoved 
Christ to be made man, so that, as in our per- 
son, he might fulfil the office of our Saviour. 

C. So 1 think 5 for it is necessary for us 
to recover in him, whatever is wanting in 
ourselves ; which cannot otherwise be done. 

* Psalm cxxxiL 11. Math. i. 1. Luke i. 32. 
f Ron*, ul 25. 1 Tim, ii. 5. Heb, iv. 15, and v. 7> 

Church of Geneva. 

55 M. But why was his generation ef- 
fected by the Holy Spirit, and not rather in 
the common and usual manner ? 

C. In as much as the seed of man ie 
wholly corrupted, it became the office of the 
Holy Spirit to interpose. in the generation of 
the Son of God, lest he should be affected by 
that contagion, and that he might be endow- 
ed with the most perfect purity. 

54 M. Hence then we learn, that he who 
is to sanctify others should be free from ev- 
ery blemish, endowed from the womb with 
original purity, entirely consecrated to God^ 
and undefiled with any corruption of the hu- 
man race. 

C So I understand it. 

55 M. Why do you pass immediately 
from his birth "to his death, omitting the 
whole history of his life ? 

C. Because the Creed here treats only 
of those points which are the chief things of 
our redemption, and which contain in them 
as it were, its substance. 

56 M. But why do you not say, in one 
word, that he teas dead, without adding, the 
name of Pontius Pilate, under whom he suf- 
fered ? 

C. That not only respects the truth of 
the history, but proves also, that his death 
was inflicted by a judicial sentence. 

57 M. Explain this more fully. 

C. He died that he might bear the pun- 
ishment due to us, and in this manner deliv- 

Tlie Catechism of the 

er us from it. But as we all, as we were 
sinners, were exposed to the judgment of 
God, that he might suffer it in our stead, he 
was pleased to place himself before an earth- 
ly judge, and to be condemned by his mouth, 
so that we might be absolved before the 
throne of the heavenly Judge. 

58 M. But Pilate pronounced him inno- 
cent, therefore he was not condemned as a 

C. It becomes us to observe both these 
points. For thus the judge gives the testi- 
mony of his innocence, that it might be wit- 
nessed, that he suffered not for his own sins, 
but for ours ; yet, at the same time, he was 
condemned, in solemn form, by the same 
sentence, that it might be manifest, that by 
undergoing, as our substitute, the punish- 
ment which we merited, he might deliver us 
from it. 

59 M. It is well said. For if he had 
been a sinner, he would not have been a fit 
surety for suffering the punishment of the 
sins of others. Yet that his condemnation 
might be accounted to us for absolution, it 
became him to be numbered among male- 

C. So I understand it. 

60 M. As to his being crucified, has this 
any thing of more moment, than if he had 
suffered any other kind of death ? 

* Math, xxvii. 24. 

Church of Geneva. 


C> Yes, as the Apostle informs, when he 
says, That he was hanged on a tree, that by 
bearing our curse in himself, we might be 
delivered from it. For that kind of death was 
accursed of God.* 

61 M. What? Is not reproach fixed oh 
the Son of God, when he is said to be sub- 
jected to a curse, even in the sight of God ? 

C. By no means ; for by receiving it, he 
abolished it : nor did he cease, at that time, 
to be blessed, when he enriched us with his 

62 M. Proceed. 

C. Since death was a punishment laid 
upon man, on account of sin, the Son of God 
endured it, and by enduring conquered it. 
And that it might be more fully manifested, 
that he endured a real death, he would be 
placed in a tomb, like other men. 

63 M. But it does not appear that we 
derive any advantage from this victory, since 
we all die. 

C. That is no objection; for death is 
nothing now to believers, but a passage to a 
better life. 

64 M. Hence it follows, that death is 
no more to be dreaded as a formidable thing ; 
but we must follow Christ our Leader with 
an intrepid mind, who, as he did not himself 
perish in death, will not suffer us to perish 

C. So we must do. 

* GaL iiL 13. Deut xxi. 2& 


Tlie Catechism of the 

65. M. What is to be understood, as to 
what is immediately added concerning his 
descent into hell?* 

C. That he not only suffered a natural 
death, which is the separation of soul and 
body, but also the pains of death; as Peter 
calls them :f and by this phrase I understand 
those dreadful agonies, by which his soul was 

* Calvin's opinion was that Christ suffered the 
pains of hell on the Cross. There he suffered, and x 
offered himself a sacrifice for the sins of the human 
race. See his opinion at large in his Institutes, B, 
2. Chap. 16. 8. That the words, he descended to 
Hell or the invisible world, were added to the Creed 
after the fourth century, is evident from the state- 
ment made by Bishop Burnet, in his exposition of 
the 39 Articles, Art. 3, p. 55 — 58. Burnet says, 
that the Article in the Creed, of Christ's descent in- 
to Hell, is mentioned by no writer before Ruffin, 
Presbyter of Aquila, who, in the beginning of the 
the fifth Century, tells us— That it was neither in the 
Smybol of the Roman, nor oriental Churches ; and 
that he found it in the Symbol of his own Church at 
Aquila. But as there was no Article in that Sym- 
bol that related to Christ's burial, so he understood 
the words in that sense. " None of the Fathers of 
the first ages, neither Irenaeus, Turtullian, Clemens, 
nor Origen, in the short abstracts which they give 
us of the Christian Faith, mention any thing like 
this." The first Creeds, which used these words s 
made no other mention of Christ's burial ; it follows 
according to Ruffin's sense 3 that they were under- 
stood of his burial. 

f Acts ii. 24 

Church of Geneva. 


66! M. Relate to me the cause and man- 
ner of this suffering. 

C. Ashe placed himself before the tribunal 
of God, that he might make satisfaction for 
sinners, it became him to be tortured with 
horrible distress of soul, as if he was forsa- 
ken of God— nay as if he was hated of God. 
He ivas in these pains, when he cried to his 
Father, My God, my God, why hast thou 


67. M. Was the Father then displeased 
with him ? 

C. By no means \ but he exercised this se- 
verity towards him, that it might be fulfilled 
which was spoken by Isaiah the Prophet — 
" He was wounded for pur transgressions, 
he was bruised for our iniquities."* 

68. M. Since he is God, how could he 
be seized with this kind of horror, as if he 
was forsaken of God ? 

C. We must consider that he was reduc- 
ed to thi# necessity, according to the affec- 
tions of his human nature. And that this 
might be done, his Divinity in the mean time 
retired, that is, did not exert its power. 

69. M. But how, again, can it be, that 
Christ, who is the Saviour of the world, should 
be subjected to this condemnation. 

C. He did not so submit to it as to re- 
main under it. For he was not so seized by 
those horrors, which have been mentioned. - 

* Isaiah liii, 4 5 5. 


Tlw Catechism of the 

as to be overcome by them, but rather strug- 
gling with the power of hell, he subdued 
and destroyed it. 

TO M. Hence we learn, what is the dif- 
ference between the torment of conscience, 
which he sustained, and that by which sin- 
ners are tortured, who are pursued by the 
hand of an offended God. For what in him 
was temporary, in them is eternal ; and 
what in him was only the piercing of a nee- 
dle's point, is in them a deadly sword wound- 
ing to the heart. 

C. So it is. For the Son of God, in the 
midst of these pains, did not cease to hope 
in the Father : but sinners, condemned by 
the judgment of God, rush into desperation, 
rage against him, and press on even to open 

71 M. Are we able to learn from hence, 
what fruit believers derive from the death of 
Christ ? 

C. Yes. And first, we perceive him to 
be a sacrifice, by which he expiated our sins 
before God ; and thus the wrath of God be- 
ing appeased, lie brought us back into favour 
with him. Secondly, that his blood is a foun- 
tain, in which our souls are purged from all 
pollution. Lastly, that by his death our sins 
are so blotted out, that tliey shall not come 
into remembrance before God ; and thus the 
hand writing, which held us as guilty, is era- 
sed and abolished. 

72 M. Does the death of Christ bring no 
ether benefit to us ? 

Church of Geneva. 27 

C. Yes truly. For by its efficacy (if in- 
deed we are the true members of Christ) our 
old man is crucified ; the body of sin is so 
destroyed, that the depraved lusts of the flesh 
reign no more in us. 

73 M. Proceed to other things. 
C. It follows — The third day he arose 

again from the dead. By which he proved 
himself, the conqueror ol sin and death .~ 
For by his resurrection, he swallowed up 
death, broke the bonds of Satan, and reduced 
his whole power to nothing. 

74 M. How manifold are the benefits 
which we derive from his resurrection ? 

C. Three fold. By it, righteousness is 
obtained for us : It is a sure pledge of our 
resurrection to a glorious immortality : And 
by its power, we are even now raised to new- 
ness of life, that we may live in pure and 
holy obedience to the will of God.* 

75 M. Let us attend to the next point. 
C. He ascended into Heaven. 
76. M. Did he so ascend into heaven, 

that he is no more on earth ? 

C. Yes truly. For after he had finished 
I all those things, commanded him of his Fa- 
ther, and which were requisite for our sal- 
vation, there was no occasion why he should 
be longer conversant on earth. 

77 M. What benefit do we derive from 
this ascension ? 

* Romans iv. 25. 1 Cor. xv. 22. Rom. vL 4, 


The Catechism of the 

C. The fruit is two fold. For in as much 
as Christ has entered into heaven in. our 
name, as he descended to the earth for our 
sakes, he has opened to us also that door, 
which, on account of sin, was hefore shut. 
Secondly, he appears in the presence of God, 
as our Intercessor and Advocate. 

78 M. But has he, by ascending to heav- 
en, so departed, as to be no more with us ? 

C. By no means. For he promised, that 
he would be with us even to the end of the 

79 M. But by his dwelling with us, are 
we to understand his bodily presence ? 

C. No. For the manner in which his 
body is received into heaven, is one thing ; 
and the presence of his power which is dif- 
fused every where, is another. 

80 M. In what sense do you say that 
he sits at the right hand of God the Father ? 

C. These words signify, that the Father 
has given to him the dominion of heaven and 
earth, that he should govern all things.* 

81 M. What do you understand by this 
right hand and by this sitting ? 

C. It is a similitude taken from earthly 
Princes, who are accustomed to place, at 
their right hand, those who act as their min- 

82 M. Do you mean the same thing, as 
that which Paul declares : viz. That Christ 

* Math, xxviil 20, 

Church of Geneva* 


is 'constituted head over all things to the 
Church, and being exalted above all princi- 
palities, h6 hath obtained a name which is 
above every name.* 
C. Yes, it is so. 

83 M. Let us pass to that which fol- 

C. From thence he shall come to judge 
the quick and the dead. The meaning of 
which w ords is, that he will as openly come 
from heaven, to judge the world, as he was 
seen to ascend into heaven. f 

84 M. As the day of judgment will not 
be till the end of the w orld, how do you say 
that there will be some of mankind remain- 
ing : as it is appointed unto all men once to 

C. Paul answers this question, when he 
says that those who are then alive shall be 
made new by a sudden change, that the cor- 
ruption of the flesh being put off, they may 
put on 

85 M. You understand then that this 
change will be the same to them, as death ; 
as it will be the abolishing of the first nature* 
and the beginning of a new life. 

C. So I understand it. 

86 M. May not our minds receive con- 
solation from this, that Christ is one day to 
be the Judge of the w orld ? 

Eph, i. 2% Phil, ii, 9, f Acts i. 11 

Heb. ix, 27. fi 1 Cor, xv 5. I The?, iv. 7 


Tlie Catechism of the 

C. Yes, singular consolation. For by 
this we certainly know that he will come, for 
our salvation. 

87 M. We should not then so fear this 
judgment, as to have it fill us with dread. 

C. By no means. For we shall then stand 
before the tribunal of the Judge, who is also 
our Advocate ; and who will receive us into 
his confidence and charge. 

88 M. Let us now come to the third 

C. That is concerning Faith in the Holy 

89 M. Of what use is that to us ? 

C. Truly in this respect, that we may 
know, that as God has redeemed and savecl 
us by his Son, so he will make us partakers 
of tliis redemption and salvation by the Holy 

90 M. In what manner ? 

C. In as much as we have cleansing by 
the blood of Christ $ so it is necessary, that 
our consciences be sprinkled with it, that 
they may be purified.* 

91 M. This requires a more clear expo- 

C. I understand, that the Holy Spirit, 
dwelling in our hearts, operates so that we 
may experience the power of Christ. For it 
is by the illumination of the Holy Spirit that 
we understand the benefits we derive from 

* 1 Peter 12. 1 John i 7. 

Church of Geneva. 


Christ ; by his persuasion they are sealed in 
our hearts ; and he prepares in us a place for 
them ; he also regenerates us and makes us 
new creatures. Therefore, whatever gifts 
are offered us in Christ, we receive by the 
power of the Spirit.* 

92 M. Let us proceed. 

C. The fourth part follows in which we 
profess to believe in the Holy Catholick 

93 M. What is the Church ? 

C. The body and society of believers, 
whom God has predestinated unto eternal 

94 M. Is this article necessary to be be- 
lieved ? 

C. Yes, truly, unless we would render 
the death of Christ without effect, and ac- 
count all that we have said, for nothing. For 
this is the sole purpose of all, that there should 
be a Church. 

95 M. You understand then, that the 
cause of salvation has been hitherto treated 
of, and its foundation shown, when you ex- 
plained, that we were received into the fa- 
vour of God, by the merits and intercession 
of Christ ; and that this grace is confirmed 
in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. But 
now the effect of all these is to be unfolded* 
so that from the very subject itself, Faith 
may be more firmly established. 

* Rom. viiu 11. Ehp. i. 13, 


The Catechism of the 

C. It is so. 

96 M. But why do you call the Church 

C. Because those whom God elects, he 
justifies, and purifies in holiness and inno- 
cence of life, to make his glory shine forth 
In them. And this is what Paul means, when 
he says, that Christ sanctified the Church, 
which he redeemed, that it might be glorious 
and pure from every spot.* 

97 M. What do you mean by the epi- 
thet Catholick or universal ? 

C. By that we are taught, that as there 
is one head of all believers, so it becomes all 
to be united in one body, that there may be 
one Church and no more, spread throughout 
all the world.f 

98 M. What is the meaning of what is 
next added, the communion of saints ? 

C. This is laid down, to express more 
clearly the unity which is among the mem- 
bers of the Church. At the same time, it in- 
timates, that whatever benefits God bestows 
on the Church, respect the common good of 
all, as all have a communion among them- 

99 M. But is this holiness, which you 
attribute to the Church, already perfect. 

C. Not yet, not so long, indeed, as it is 
militant in this world. For it will aiways 

* Rom. viii. 30. Eph. v. 25. 
f Eph. iv. 15. 1 Cor. xii. 12.. 

Church of Geneva. 


labour under infirmities ; nor will it ever be 
entirely purified from the remains of corrup- 
tion, until it shall be completely united to 
Christ its head, by whom it is sanctified. 

100 M. Can this Church be otherwise 
known, than as it is discerned by Faith ? 

C. There is indeed a visible Church of 
God, which he has designated to us by cer- 
tain signs and tokens ; but we now treat ex- 
pressly of the congregation of those, whom 
he has elected to salvation. But this is nei- 
ther known by signs, nor at any time dis- 
cerned by the eyes. 

101 M. What article follows next ? 
C. I believe the forgiveness of sins. 
102. M. What does the word forgiveness 

signify ? 

C. That God, by his gratuitous goodness*, 
will pardon and remit the sins of believers, 
so that they shall neither come into judgment, 
nor have punishment exacted of them. 

103 M. Hence it follows, that we can 
by no means merit, by personal satisfactions, 
that pardon of sins, which we obtain from the 

C. It is true. For Christ alone, by suf- 
fering the penalty, has finished the saiisfajc- 
tion. As .to ourselves, we have nothing at 
all, which we can offer to God as a compen- 
sation ; but we receive the benefit of pardon 
from his pure goodness and liberality. 

104 M. Why do you connect forgive- 
ness of sins with the Church ? 


The Catechism of the 

C. Because no one obtains it, orly as he 
is first united to the people of God. and per- 
severingty cherishes this union with the body 
of Christ even to the end : and in that man- 
ner gives evidence, that he is a true member 
of the Church. 

105 M. By this rule you determine, that 
there is no condemnation or destruction, ex- 
cept to those who are without the Church ? 

C. It is so. For from those who make a 
separation from the body of Christ, and by 
factions destroy its unity, all hope of salva- 
tion is cut off. in so far as they continue in 
this separation. 

106 M. Recite the last article. 

C. I believe the resurrection of the body y 
and the life everlasting. 

107 M. For what purpose is this article 
of Faith put in the Confession ? 

C. To admonish us that our happiness is 
not to be placed in this world. The knowl- 
edge of this has a twofold advantage and use. 
By it we are taught, first, that this world is 
to be passed through by us, merely as stran- 
gers — that we may think continually of our 
departure, and not suffer our hearts to be en- 
tangled with earthly anxieties. And second - 
ly, that we should not, in the mean time, des- 
pair in our minds, but patiently wait for 
those things which are as yet hidden and con- 
cealed from our eyes, being the fruits of 
grace, laid up for as in Christ, until the day 
of revelation. 

Church of Geneva. 


108 M. What will be the order of this 
resurrection ? 

C. Those who were before dead will re- 
ceive the same bodies in which they dwelt 
on earth; but endowed with a new quality, 
that is, to be no more obnoxious to death and 
corruption. But those who shall be living at 
that day, God will marvellously raise up with 
a sudden change.* 

109 M. But will it be common at once 
to the just and the unjust? 

C. There will be one resurrection of all ; 
but the condition will be different : Some will 
be raised to salvation and glory; others to 
condemnation, and final misery. t 

110 M. Why then is eternal life spoken 
of, in the Creed and no mention made of the 
wicked ? 

C* Because nothing is treated of in that 
summary but what relates to the consolation 
of pious minds : Therefore, those blessings 
only are considered which the Lord has pre- 
pared for his servants. For this reason noth- 
ing is said about the condition which awaits 
the wicked, whom we know to be aliens from 
the kingdom of God. 

111 M. Since we hold the foundation on 
which Faith depends, it will be easy to infer 
from thence the definition of true Faith. 

C. It is so, and thus we may define it — 
Faith is the certain and stable knowledge of 

1 Cor. xv. 53. f Matt. xxv. 46, John v. 59 


The Catecliism of the 

the paternal benevolence of God towards us, 
according to his testimony in the Gospel ; 
that he will be to us, for the sake of Christ, 
a Father and a Saviour. * 

112. Do we obtain that of ourselves, or 
do we receive it from God ? 

C. The scriptures teach us, that it is the 
special gift of God, and experience confirms 
the testimony. 

113. M. Inform me what experience. 
C. Truly, our understandings are too 

weak to comprehend that spiritual knowl- 
edge of God, which is revealed to us by 
Faith ; and our hearts have too strong a pro- 
pensity to distrust God, and to put a perverse 
confidence in ourselves or the creatures, for 
Us to submit to him of our own mere motion, 
But the Holy Spirit makes us capable, by his 
own illumination, of understanding those 
things, which would otherwise very far ex- 
ceed our capacity, and forms in us a sure 
persuasion, by sealing in our hearts the prom- 
ises of salvation. 

114. M. What benefit arises to us from 
this Faith, when we have once obtained it ? 

C. It justifies us before God, and by this 
justification makes us heirs of eternal life. 

115. M. What ? Are not men justified 
by good works, when by living an innocent 
and holy life, they study to approve them- 
selves to God ? 

C. If any one could be found thus perfect, 
he might well b§ called just \ but since we 

Church of Geneva, 57 

are all sinners, in many ways guilty before 
God, that worthiness which may reconcile us 
4o him must be sought by us in some other 

116 M. But are all the works of men so 
polluted, and of no value, that they deserve 
no favour with God ? 

C. In the first place, all those things 
which proceed from us, as they are properly 
called ours, are polluted, and therefore avail 
nothing, but to displease God, and be reject- 
ed by him. 

117 M. You say then, that before we 
are born again, and created anew by the Spir- 
it of God, we can do nothing but sin ; as a 
corrupt tree brings forth only corrupt fruit.* 

C. It is wholly so ; for whatever appear- 
ance our works may have in the eyes of 
men, they are altogether evil, as long as the 
heart is corrupt 5 at which God especially 

118 M. Hence you infer, that we cannot ? 
by any merits of our own, come before God 
and challenge his favour : but rather, in all 
Our undertakings and pursuits, we expose 
ourselves to his wrath and condemnation. 

C. So I think. Therefore it is of his 
mere mercy, and not from any respect to our 
works, that he freely embraces us in Christ* 
and holds us accepted, by accounting that 
righteousness of his, which is accepted by us. 

* Matt, m 18, 

The Catechism of tnv 

as our own 5 -and not imputing our sins unto- 

119 M. In what manner then do you 
say that we are justified by Faith ? 

C. When by a sure confidence of heart, 
we embrace the promises of the gospel, then 
we obtain possession of this righteousness. 

120 M. You mean this then : That this 
righteousness is so to be received by Faith 
as it is offered unto us, of God, in the gos- 

121 M. But when God has once embraced 
us, are not those works acceptable to him, 
which we do by the influence of the Holy 
Spirit i 

C. They please him so far as he freely 
renders them worthy by his own favour ; but 
not from the merit of their own worthiness. 

122 M. But since they proceed from the 
Holy Spirit, do they not merit his accept- 
ance ? 

C. No, because they have always some 
mixture of pollution from the infirmity of the 
flesh, by which they are defiled. 

123 M. Whence then, and in what way, 
do they become pleasing to God ? 

C. It is Faith alone which renders them 
acceptable : then we may rest assuredly on 
this confidence, that they shall not come to 
the sentence of the last trial, as God will not 

Titus 5' 

Church of Geneva. 


examine them by the rule of his severity ; 
but covering their impurities and spots, by 
the purity of Christ, he will account them as 
if they were perfect. 

124 M. Shall we understand from thence? 
that a Christian is justified by his works, af- 
ter he is called of God, or that he can obtain 
by their merit, that he should be loved of 
God, whose to us is eternal life ? 

C . By no means ; but let us rather believe 
what is written, that no man living can be 
justified before God ; and therefore we pray : 
Enter not into judgment with us.* 

125 M. Must we then conclude, that the 
good w&rks of believers are useless. 

C. .No, for God has promised a reward t& 
them, both in this world and in the life to 
come. But this reward proceeds from the 
gratuitous love of God as from a fountain ; 
as he first embraces us as sons ; and then by 
blotting out the remembrance of our sins, h£ 
follows with his favour those things w T hich 
"we do. 

126 M. But can that righteousness be 
separated from good works : so that he w r ho 
has that may be destitute of these ? 

C. This cannot be done. For to believe 
in Christ is to receive him as he offers him- 
self to us. Now he not only promises to u£ 
deliverance from death, and reconciliation 
with God, but at the same time also? tfae 

* Psalro cxliii % 


The Catechism of the 

grace of the Holy Spirit, by which we are 
regenerated in newness of life. It is neces- 
sary that these things be united together, 
unless we would divide Christ from himself. 

127 M. It follows from this, that Faith 
is the root, from which all good works ori- 
ginate ; and cannot, by any means, make us 
slothful about them. 

C. It is true : And therefore the whole 
doctrine of the gospel is contained in these 
two points, Faith and Repentance. 

128 M. What is Repentance ? 

C. It is a hatred of sin and a love of 
righteousness, proceeding from the fear of 
God ; leading us to a denial and mortification 
of the flesh, so that we may give up ourselves 
to be governed by the Holv Spirit, and per- 
form all the actions of our lives in obedience 
to the will of God. 

129 M. But this last point was, in the 
division, laid down in the beginning, when 
you stated the true method of honouring God. 

C. Yes, it was then observed, that the 
true and legitimate rule of glorifying God f 
was to obey his will. 

ISO M. How so? 

Co Because the service which God ap- 
proves is not that which we may please ta 
feign to ourselves, but that which he has pre- 
scribed by his own counsel 

Church of Geneva. 



That is, of the Ten Commandments of God. 

131 M. What rule of life has God giv- 
en to us ? 

C. His Law. 

132 M. What does that contain ? 

C. It is divided into two parts : The first 
contains four commandments, and the other 
six. Thus the whole law is summed up in 
ten commandments. 

133 M. Who is the author of this divi- 
sion ? 

C. God himself, who delivered it to Mo- 
ses written on two tables \ and it is often 
declared to be comprised in ten command- 

134 M. What is the subject of the first 
table ? 

C. It treats of the duties of religion to- 
wards God. 

135 M. What is the subject of the second 
table ? 

C. Our duties to men, and our conduct 
towards them. 

136 M. Which is the first command- 
ment ? 

C. Hear, O Israel, lam the Lord thy God, 

* Ex. xxiv. 12, and xxxii. 15, and xxxiv. h Deuf 

iv. 13, and x 4 

The Catechism of the 

which have brought thee out of the land of 
Egypt? out of tlie house of homage. Thou 


157 M. Explain these words. 

C. The first part is used as a preface to 
the whole law. For in calling himself the 
Lord or Jehovah, he establishes his right and 
authority to command. Next, by declaring 
himself our God, he would render his law 
acceptable to us. Lastly, these words also 
imply, that he is our Saviour ; and as he dis- 
tinguishes us by this privilege, it is just on 
our part that we present ourselves to him as 
his willing people. 

138 M. But does not the deliverance 
from the bondage of Egypt respect peculiar- 
ly the people of Israel ? 

C. I confess it does, as to the work it- 
self,t but there is another kind of deliver- 
ance, which pertains equally to ail men,— 
For he has delivered us all from the spiritual 
servitude of sin and the tyranny of the devil. 

139 M. Why does he remind us of that 
in the preface to his law i 

C. To admonish us that we shall be guil- 
ty of the highest ingratitude, unless we en- 
tirely devote ourselves in obedience to him. 

140 M. What is required in the first 
commandment ? 

* Ex. xx. 2. Deut. v. 6. 

| The Leyden Ed. has the word Corpus — instead 
of opus, which is in the Amst. Ed 

Church of Geneva. 4$ 

C f That we should render to him the 
honour, in full, which is his due ; without 
giving any part of it to another ? 

141 M. What is the peculiar honour, 
which must not be transferred to another ? 

C. To worship him ; to place our whole 
trust in him ; to pray to him ; and, in a word, 
to ascribe to him all those tilings which be- 
long to his Majesty. 

142 M. What are we taught by these 


C. That nothing is so hidden, as to be 
concealed from him ; that he is the witness 
and judge of all our secret thoughts; and 
that he requires, not merely the honour of 
an external confession, but "also the sincere 
devotion of the heart. 

143. M. Which is the second command- 
ment ? 

C. Thou shalt not make wilo thee, any 
graven image, or any likeness of any thing 
that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth 
beneath, or that is in the water under the 
earth ; thou shalt not bow down thyself to 
them nor serve them. 

144 . M. Does God wholly forbid the 
painting or sculpturing of any images ? 

C . He forbids only these two — The mak- 
ing of images, for the purpose of represent- 
ing God, or for worshipping him. 

145 M. Why is it forbidden to represent 
God, by a visible image ? 

C, Because ther^e is nothing iu htm, who 

Tlie Catechism of the 

is an eternal and incomprehensible Spirit, 
that resembles a corporeal, corruptible, and 
inanimated figure.* 

146 M. You judge it then to be dishon- 
ourable to his Majesty, to attempt to repre- 
sent him thus. 

C. Yes. 

147 M. What sort of worship is forbid- 
den, by this commandment ? 

C. That we should address ourselves in 
prayer to a statue or image ; or prostrate 
ourselves before it; or by kneeling, or any 
other signs, give honour to it. as though God 
therein would present himself to us. 

148 M. It is not then to be understood 
that the commandment condemns painting 
and sculpturing ; but only, that images are 
forbidden to be made for the purpose of seek- 
ing or worshipping God in them ; or, what is 
the same thing, that we should worship them 
in honour of God, or by any means abuse 
them to superstition and idolatry. 

C. It is so. 

149 M. What is required in this com- 
mandment ? 

C. As in the first. God declared that he 
was alone to be adored and worshipped : so in 
this, he shows us the true form of worship, 
by which he would recall us from all super- 
stition, and other depraved and corrupt for- 

* Bent w. 15 Acts xm 29. Ram i 33 

Church of Geneva. 


150 M. Let us proceed. 

C. He adds a sanction : I am the Lord 
thy God, mighty* and jealous^ visiting the in* 
iquity of the Fatliers upon the Children un- 
to tlie third and fourth generation of thein 
that hate me. 

151 M. Why does he mention his power 
or might ? 

C. To show us 5 that he is able to vindi- 
cate his glory. 

152 M. What does he indicate by the 
word jealous ? 

C. That he can endure no equal or part- 
ner ; that having given himself to us by his 
own infinite goodness, so he will have us to 
be wholly his own. And it is the chastity of 
our souls, to be dedicated to him, and to 
cleave wholly to him ; as on the other hand, 
they are saict to be defiled with adultery, 
when they turn away from him, to supersti- 

153 M. In what sense is it said — visit- 
ing the iniquity of the Fathers upon the Chil- 
dren ? 

C. That he may awaken in us greater 
terror, he not only threatens that he will take 
punishment of those who transgress ; but that 
their offspring also shall be under a curse. 

* In the French version of the Scriptures which 
Calvm used, is the word forty here translated -migh- 
ty. See also Calvin's Commentary on Exodus xx. 5, 
in the first Vol. of his works p. 399. "Nomen EL. 
ejuidam appellative vertunt, forties, 


T!ie Catechism of the 

154 M. But is it consistent with the equi- 
ty of God, to punish one for the fault of an- 
other ? 

C. If we consider the true state of man- 
kind, the question will be solved. For by 
nature, we are all exposed to the curse ; nor 
is there any reason that we should complain 
of God, when he leaves us in this condition. 
But as he proves his love towards the pious, 
by blessing their posterity ; so he executes 
his vengeance upon the wicked, by withhold- 
ing his blessing from their children. 

155 M. Proceed, to the rest. 

C. That he may allure us by nis kind- 
ness, he promises, that he will shotv mercy, 
towards all, who love him and keep his com- 
mandments, to a thousand generations. 

156 M. Does this intimate that the obe- 
dience of a godly man shall be for the sal- 
vation of all his children, however wicked ? 

C. By no means ; but in this manner, he 
would exhibit himself as extending his boun- 
ty, thus far, towards believers, that out of 
favour to them, he would show kindness to 
their offspring ; not only by prospering their 
worldly affairs ; but also by sanctifying their 
souls, that they should be numbered among 
his flock. 

157 M. But this does not appear to be 
continually done. 

C. I confess it : For as the Lord reserves 
this liberty to himself, to show mercy when 
he pleases to the children of the wicked ; so 

Church of Geneva. 


he has not so restricted his favour to the off- 
spring of believers, but that he casts off those, 
whom it seemeth him good, according to his 
own will ; yet he so manages this, as to make 
it evident that the promise is not a vain and 
fallacious thing.* 

158 M. Why does he mention a thousand 
generations, in snowing mercy , and only three 
or four, in executing punishment ? 

C. That he may show himself more in- 
clined to kindness and mercy, than he is to 
severity. As in another place, he testifies — - 
That he is ready to forgive, but slow to an- 

159 M» Which is the third command- 

C. TIwu shalt not take the name of the 
Lord thy God in vain. 

160 M. What is fbrbidden in this com- 
mandment ? 

C. It forbids us, to abuse the name of 
God, not only by perjury ; but by all unne- 
cessary oaths- 

161 M. May the name of God be at ali 
lawfully used in oaths ? 

C. Yes truly, when introduced on a just 
occasion : First, in establishing the truth ; 
Secondly, in matters of importance, for pre- 
serving mutual peace and charity among men. 

162 M. Is it not then the sole purpose of 

* Romans ix. 

f Ex, xxx>\ 6. Psal. ciii. 8. and cxlr S, 


The Catechism of the, 

this commandment, to forbid those oaths> by 
which the name of God is profaned and dis- 
honoured ? 

C. This one object being proposed, it ad- 
monishes us generally never to introduce the 
name of God in public, unless with fear and 
reverence, and for his glory. For as it ig 
holy, we must take heed, by all means, lest 
we should appear to treat it with contempt, 
6r give to others the occasion of despising it» 

163 M. How is this to be done ? 

C. If we think or speak of God or his 
works, we must do it, in a manner that will 
honour him. 

164 M. What follows ? 

C. The threatening — For the Lord will 
not hold h im guiltless, who taketh his name in 

165 M. Since God, iti other places, de- 
dares that he will punish the transgressors 
of his law, what more is contained in this ? 

C. By this he would declare, how highly 
he estimates the glory of his name ; that w£ 
Inay be the more careful to hold it in rever- 
ence when we see him prepared to take ven- 
geance on any one, who profanes it. 

166 M. Let us proceed to the fourth com- 

C. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it 
holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all 
thy icork ; but the seventh day is the Sabbath 
&f the Lord thy God : in it thou shalt not do 
any ivork* thou* nor thy son* nor thy daugh 

Church of Geneva. 


ier, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, 
nor thy cattle, nor the stranger, that is within 
thy gates. For in six days the Lord made 
heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them 
is, and rested the seventh day : wherefore the 
Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. 

167 M. Does he command us to labour 
the six days, that we may rest the seventh ? 

C. Not simply; but permitting six days 
to the labours of men, he excepts the seventh, 
that it may be devoted to rest. 

168 M. But does he forbid us any labour 
on that day ? 

C. This commandment has a distinct and 
peculiar reason. In so far as the observation 
of rest was a part of the ceremonial law ; 
it was abrogated at the coming of Christ. 

169 M. Do you say that this command- 
ment respected the Jews only, and was there- 
fore merely temporary ? 

C. Yes, so far as it was ceremonial. 

170 M. What then ? Is there any thing 
in it besides what is ceremonial ? 

G. Yes ; it was given for three .reasons. 

171 M. State them to me. 

C. To prefigure a spiritual rest : To pre- 
serve the polity of-the Church : And for the 
relief of servants. 

172 M. What do you understand by a 
spiritual rest ? 

C. When we rest from our own works, 
that God may perform his works in us* 



The Catechism of the 

175 M. How is that done ? 

C. When we crucify our flesh ; that is f 
renounce our own understanding, that we 
may be governed by the Spirit of God. 

174 M. Is it sufficient that this be done 
on the seventh day merely ? 

C. No, it must be done continually : For 
when we have once begun, we must proceed 
through the whole course of our life. 

175 M. Why then is a particular day ap- 
pointed to represent this rest ? 

C. It is not at all necessary that the fig- 
ure should, in every point, agree with the 
substance : it is enough, if there is a resem- 
blance according to the order of types. 

176 M. Why is the seventh day appoint- 
ed, rather than any other ? 

C. This number in scripture designates 
perfection : therefore it is proper to deter- 
mine its perpetuity.* At the same time, it 

* Augustin notices the circumstance, that the 
seventh day in Genesis h. 2, 3. is mentioned, with- 
out any notice of evening" or morning*, as in the oth- 
er days, to signify the perpetuity of the Sabbath — O- 
pera Augustini. Vol. 3. p. 552 de Genesi ad lite- 
cam. The advocates of festival and Saint-day's have 
never ceased to misrepresent Calvin's opinion as to 
the perpetuity of the Sabbath. And Bishop Horse- 
iiT, in his Sermons, has given sanction to the misrep- 
resentation, as though Calvin had abohshed the ho- 
liness of the Sabbath. In his Institutes, Calvin has 
given his exposition of the 4th Commandment at 
large. And the words of this answer — are a mere 
transcript from his 2. Book Ch. 8- Sec, g€ — Quarate 

Church of Geneva. 


indicates that this spiritual rest can only be 
begun in this life; and that it will not be 
perfected until we depart from this world. 

177 M. What does this mean, that the 
Lord exhorts us to rest as he himself rested P 

C. When God had made an end of cre- 
ating the world, in six days, he devoted the 
seventh to the contemplation of his works. 
And he proposes his own example, that he 
may excite us more diligently to the same 
w ork. For nothing is more earnestly to be 
sought, than that we may be conformed to 
his image. 

178 M. Ought this meditation of the 
works of God to be continual, or is it enough 
to appoint one of the seven days, for that 
purpose ? 

C. It is our duty to be daily exercised in 
that work ; hut on account of our weakness, 
one day is especially appointed, and this is 
the ecclesiastical polity which I mentioned. 

179 M. What is the order to be observ- 
ed on that day ? 

G. That the people assemble to hear the 

kic in Scriptura perfection] s est numeras, non sine 
ccuusa delectus est ad noiandum perpetuitat&m, which 
Norton translates thus— " For as much as that num- 
ber is in the scripture the number of perfection, it 
"was not without cause chosen to signify its everlast- 
ing continuance"— -Calvin, in his Commentary on 
Colos. ii. 16 — argues against the superstitious obser- 
vance of Popish festival or holy days — but no where 
against the strict and holy observance of the Lord's, 
day, or Christian Sabbatk 

Tlie Catechism of the 

doctrine of Christ; to unite in the public pray - 
ers ; and to offer the confession of their Faith. 

180 M. Now explain the point, that the 
Lord in this commandment had respect also 
to the relief of servants. 

C. It requires that some relaxation be 
given to those who are under the authority 
of others. And besides, this also tends to 
preserve the civil government. For where 
one day is devoted to rest, each one becomes 
accustomed to pursue his labours more or- 
derly the rest of the time. 

181 M. Now let us see how far this 
commandment respects us ? 

C. As to the ceremonial part it was abol- 
ished, when its substance was manifested in 

' 182 M. How? 

C. For example ; as our old man is cru- 
cified by the power of his death, and we are 
raised by his resurrection to newness of life.* 

1 83 Sf . What then of this commandment 
remains for us ? 

C. That we should not neglect the holy 
institutions, which support the spiritual gov- 
ernment cf the Church : but especially that 
we frequent the sacred meetings, for hearing 
the word of God ; for celebrating the ordi- 
nances ; and for joining in the public prayers, 
according to their appointment. 

184 M. But does this figure conduce 
nothing more to our advantage. 

* Col. ii. 17. Rom, vi. 6. 

Church of Geneva* 55 

C. Yes truly ; for it brings us back to its 
substance : To wit, that being engrafted in- 
to the body of Christ, and becoming his mem- 
bers, we must cease from trusting in our own 
works, and design ourselves wholly to the 
government of God. 

185 M. Let us pass to the second table. 
C. Its beginning is — Honour thy father 

and thy mother — 

186 M. What in this place is the mean- 
ing of the word honour ? 

C. That with modesty and humility, chil- 
dren should be submissive and obedient to 
their parents, and treat them with reverence ; 
that they assist them in their necessities, and 
repay them their own labours. These three 
points comprehend the honour which is due 
to parents. 

187 M. Proceed now. 

C. A promise is annexed to the command- 
ment — That thy days may be long upon the 
land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 

188 M. What is the meaning of this ? 
C. That those who render due honour to 

their parents shall, by the blessing of God* 
live long. 

189 M. Since this life is filled with so 
many cares, why does God promise its long 
continuance, as a blessing ? 

C. However great are the miseries to 
which life is exposed ; yet it is the blessing 
of God to believens, even on this one account, 
e 2 

j f* .moS M si tpO *• 


The Catechism of the 

that it is a proof of his paternal favour, while 
he preserves and cherishes them here. 

190 M. Does it follow on the other hand, 
that he who is snatched away from the world, 
prematurely and suddenly, is accursed of 

C. By no means ; but it rather happens, 
sometimes, as any one is beloved of God, so 
much the sooner he is removed from this 

191 M. But in doing this how does God 
fulfil his promise ? 

Ci Whatever of earthly good is promised 
of God, it becomes us to receive it under 
this condition, as far as it shall conduce to 
our spiritual benefit, and the salvation of our 
souls. For the order would be very prepos* 
terous, unless the good of the soul was always 

192 M. What shall we say of those who 
are disobedient to their parents ? 

C. They will not only be punished in 
the last judgment 5 but in this life God will 
also punisli their bodies, either in taking 
them away in the flower of their age, or by 
some ignominious death, or by other means. 

193 M. But does not the promise speak 
expressly of the land of Canaan ? 

C. It does so far as it respects the Is- 
raelites ; but the promise reaches farther, 
and should be extended to us. For in what- 
ever region we dwell, as the earth is the 

Church of Geneva. 

Lord's, he assigns it to us for a posses- 

194 M. What is there more required in 
this commandment ? 

C. Although the words express only fa- 
ther and mother, yet all those are to be in- 
cluded, who are in authority over us ; when 
the same rule is applicable to them. 

195 M. When is that ? 

C. It is when God raises them to a su- 
periour degree of honour. For there is no 
authority of parents, or princes, or any ru- 
lers, no command, no honour, but what is 
derived from the appointment of God ; be- 
cause thus it pleases him to govern the world 
for his own glory. 

196 M. Which is the sixth command- 
ment ? 

C* Thou shalt not kill, 

197 M. Does it forbid nothing but to 
commit murder ? 

C. Yes truly. For God, in this law, 
not only regulates the external actions, but 
also the affections of the heart, and these 

198 M. You seem to imply, that there 
is a kind of secret murder, which God here 
forbids us ? 

C. It is so. For anger, and hatred, and 
any revengeful desire of injuring, are ac- 
counted murder in the sight of God. 

* Psalm, xxiv. 1, and lxxxv. 5, and cxv. 16. 


TJie Catechism of the 

199 M. Are we sufficiently free fww 
it, if we pursue no one with hatred ? 

C. By no means. In as much as the 
Lord, in condemning hatred, and forbidding 
us any thing which might be injurious to our 
neighbour's welfare, at the same time shows 
himself to demand this, that we love all 
men from the heart ; and that we give dili- 
gence to defend and preserve their liveSc 

200 M. Which is the seventh command- 
ment ? 

C. Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

201 M. What is the sum of this com- 
mandment ? 

C. That fornication of every kind is ac- 
cursed in the sight of God : ancl that unless 
we would provoke his wrath against our- 
selves we must diligently abstain from it. 

£02 M. What else does it require ? 

C. That the design of the Legislator be 
regarded; which, as we said, does not rest 
in the external action ; but rather respects 
the affections of the heart. 

£03 M. What more then does it compre- 
hend ? 

C. That as both our bodies and our souls 
are the temples of the holy Spirit, therefore 
we should preserve them both chaste and 
pure : and also that we should modestly ab- 
stain not only from actual crimes, but even 
in our hearts* words, and gestures of body. 
Finally, that the body be kept free from all 
lascivious carriage, and the soul from every 

dnirch of Geneva. q> 

lust, that no part of us be defiled by the filth 
of impurity.* 

£04 M. Which is the eighth command- 

C. Thou shalt not steal. . 

205 M. Does this only forbid those thefts 
which are punished by human laws or does 
it extend farther ? 

C. It embraces under the word theft 9 ev- 
ery kind of defrauding and circumventing, 
and all those evil arts by which we are in- 
tent to possess the goods of others. By it 
we are forbidden, either violently to seize on 
the goods of our neighbours, or by cunning 
or deceit to lay hands on them, or to endeav- 
our to occupy them by any unjust means 

206 M. Is it enough to abstain from the 
evil action, or is the intention also here for- 
bidden ? 

C. It is. Since God is a spiritual Legis- 
lator, he wills that not only external theft 
be avoided : but also all those plans and 
counsels which at all injure others ; and es- 
pecially that selfishness, which seeks to grow 
rich by the misfortunes of our neighbours. 

207 M. What is to be done, that we may 
cbev this commandment ? 

C. Diligence must be given., that each 
one may safely possess his own. 

208 M. Which is the ninth command- 
ment ? 

* 1 Cor. iii. 16. and vl 19. 2 Cor. vi. 16- 


Tlie Catechism of the 

C. Thou shaft not bear false witness 
against thy neighbour. 

209 M. Does this merely forbid perjury 
in courts, or in general, ail falsehood against 
our neighbour r 

C. Under this form of expression the 
whole doctrine is included : tliat we shall 
not by falsehood calumniate our neighbour; 
nor by our evil speaking and detraction de- 
stroy his reputation, or bring any damage to 
him in his estate. 

210 M. But why is public perjury ex- 
pressly forbidden ? 

C. That we might be struck with greater 
horror at this vice. And it implies that if 
any one become accustomed to evil speaking 
and backbiting, from that habit the descent 
to perjury is rapid. 

211 M. Is it not the design of this com- 
mandment, to deter us not only from evil 
speaking, but also from evil suspicions, and 
uncandid and unjust judgments ? 

C. It condemns both according to the 
reason before given. For that which is evil 
to do, before men, is even wicked to will be- 
fore God. 

219 M. What is the sum of this com- 
mandment ? 

C. It forbids us to think evil of our neigh- 
bours, and to indulge any propensity to 
defame them : and on the other hand, God 
commands us to be endowed with equity and 
humanity, that we may be studious to think 

Church of Geneva. 


well of them as far as the truth will permit ; 
and to preserve our estimation of them en- 

213 M. Which is the tenth command- 
ment ? 

C. Thou shall not covet thy neighbour- s 
house, thou shall not covet thy neighbours 
wife, nor his man servant, nor his maid ser- 
vant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing 
that is thy neighbour's. 

214 M. Since, as you have said, the 
whole law is spiritual, and the preceding 
commandments are designed to restrain not 
only the external actions, hut to correct 
also the affections of the mind ; what more 
is there contained in this. 

C. By the other precepts God would gov- 
ern and restrain the will and affections ; but 
in this, he imposes a law upon those thoughts 
which carry with them some degree of cov- 
etousness, although they do not ripen into an 
established determination. 

215 M. Do you say that all even the 
least of those depraved desires, which seize 
upon believers, and come into their minds, 
are sins, even though they resist rather than 
assent to them ? 

C. It is surely evident, that all corrupt 
thoughts, although our consent is not added, 
proceed from the corruption of our nature : 
but this only I gay, that by this command- 
ment, those depraved desires are condemned/ 
which stir up and please the heart of man. 


The Catechism of the 

although they do not draw it to a firm and 
deliberate purpose. 

216 M. Thus far then you understand, 
that not only are those evil affections in which 
men acquiesce and to which they become 
subject, forbidden; but also such strict in- 
tegrity is required of us, that our minds 
must not admit any perverse desires, by 
w r hich they might be stimulated to sin. 

C. It is so. 

21 7 M. Will you now give a short sum- 
mary of the whole law ? 

C. Yes, it shall be done, in as much as 
we may sum it up in two heads : The first 
is, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with 
all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with 
all thy strength. The second is, Thou shalt 
love thy neighbour as thyself, 

218 M. What is included in loving God ? 
C. To love him as God ; that is, that he 

be acknowledged at once, as our Lord, our 
Father, and our Saviour. To the love of 
God, therefore, must be joined a reverence 
of him, obedience to his will, and that con- 
fidence w r hich ought to be placed in him. 

219 M. What do you understand by the- 
whole heart, mind, and strength r 

C. That ardour of affection, which leaves 
no place in us for any thoughts, desires, or 
endeavours, which are opposed to this love. 

220 M. What is the meaning of the se- 
cond head ? 

0. As we are by nature so prone to love 

Church of Geneva. 

ourselves, that this affection overpowers all 
others, so it becomes us to regulate the love 
of our neighbour in ourselves by this, that it 
may govern us in all respects, and be the rule 
of all our, counsels and labours. 

221 M. What do you understand by the 
word neighbour ? 

C. Not only kindred and friends, and 
those who are bound to us by some alliance, 
but those also who are unknown to us, and 
even our enemies. 

222 M. But what connection have they 
w ith us ? 

C. They are certainly united to us by 
that bond, by which God binds together the 
whole race of men. And this is so sacred 
and inviolable, that it cannot be abolished 
by the wickedness of any one. 

223 M. You say then r that if any one 
should hate us, this love is still his due 5 he 
is still our neighbour, and is so to be account- 
ed by us ; because the divine constitution 
stands inviolable, by which this relation be- 
tween us is sanctioned. 

C. It is so. 

224 M. As the law declares the true 
manner of worshipping God, must we not 
live wholly according to hi§ prescription ? 

C. Yes truly : but we til of us labour 
under such infirmity, that no one fulfils it, 
in all respects, as he ought. 

225 M. Why then does God exact of us 
that perfection, which is above our ability- 


The Catechism of the 

C. He demands nothing above that ex- 
cellence to which we are in duty hound. 
But only let us strive to reach that course 
of life, which his law prescribes, and although 
we should be at a distance from the mark, 
that is from perfection, the Lord will pardon 
us what is wanting. 

226 M. Do you speak in this manner of 
all men. or only of believers ? 

C. He who is not yet regenerated by the 
Spirit of God, is not indeed qualified, to per- 
form the least point of the law. Besides if 
we should grant some one to be found who 
should observe the law in some part, yet we 
could not from that determine that he com- 
plied with it fully in the sight of God. For 
he pronounces all those accursed, who do not 
fulfil all things contained in the law.* 

227 M. Hence we must conclude, that 
as there are two sorts of men, so the office of 
the law is twofold. 

C. Yes. for among unbelievers it effects 
nothing onlv as it precludes them from all 
excuse before God. And this is what Paul 
says, when he calls it the ministration of con- 
demnation and death : towards believers it 
has a very different use.f 

228 M. What use r 

C. First, while they learn from it, that 
it is impossible for them to obtain justifi- 

* Deut. sxvii. 26. Gal. iii. 10. 
f Rom. i. 32. 2 Cor. iii, 6 

Church of Geneva. 


cation by works, they are instructed in hu- 
mility, which is the true preparation for seek- 
ing salvation in Christ. Secondly, That, in 
as much as the law demands of them more 
than they can perform, it excites them to 
seek strength of the Lord, and at the same 
time admonishes them of their constant guilt, 

It is to them like a bridle by which they 
are held, in the fear of God.* 

229 M. Although then, in this earthly pil- 
grimage, we cannot satisfy the law, we must 
not account it superfluous that it demands 
of us such j entire perfection ; for it points 
out to us the mark at which we are to aim, 
the goal for which we are to contend : that 
each one of us may strive, with zealous, assi- 
duity, according to the measure of the g^ace 
given Mm, to conform his life to the highest 
rectitude, and to be still making continual 

C. So I think. 

230 M. Have we not in the law a per- 
fect rule of all righteousness ? 

C, We have, and God requires nothing 
more of us, than that we should follow it. 
But on the other hand, he accounts and re- 
jects as corrupt, whatever we undertake be* 
yond what he has prescribed. Nor does 
he hold any other sacrifice accepted but obe- 

* Rom. iii. 20. Gal. ii. 16. iii. 11. iv. 5, 
f 1 Sam. xiv. 22. Jcv vii, 22 

lest they should 

to be proud. Last- 


The Catechism of the 

231 M. For what purpose then are so 
many admonitions, commands, and exhorta- 
tions, constantly given by the prophets and 
apostles ? 

C. They are merely so many expositions 
of the law, which lead us by the hand to 
its obedience, and by no means draw us 
from it. 

232 M. But does it command nothing 
concerning the callings of individuals ? 

C. As it commands us to render to each 
one his due, it is easy to collect from it 
what those personal duties are, which each 
one should perform, in his station and course 
of life. And those numerous expositions of 
each precept mentioned above, are repeat- 
edly published in the scriptures. For what 
God summarily includes in a few words in 
these two tables of the law, is more fully 
and extensively illustrated in other parts of 
his word. 


233 "M. Having discoursed sufficiently 
concerning submission and obedience, which 
are the second part of the honour due to 
God, let us now treat of the third. 

C. We called it Invocation, in as much 
as we betake ourselves to God in all our ne* 

Church of Geneva* 


234 M. Do you suppose that be alone is 
to be invoked ? 

C. Yes, for tbat is what be demands as 
the peculiar honour of his Godhead. 

235 M. If it is so, how is it lawful for us 
to implore the assistance of men ? 

C. The difference is very great in these 
two cases. For when we invoke God, we 
testify, that we look no where else for any 
blessing, and that our whole defence is pla- 
ced entirely in him. However, he, at the 
same time, permits us to seek assistance 
from those to whom he has given the power 
to help us. 

£36 M. You say then, that when we in- 
voke the true God we may betake ourselves 
to the help and support of men, provided we 
do not by any means put our trust in them ; 
and that we must no otherwise ask their aid, 
but as they are endowed of God with the 
ability of being the ministers and dispensers 
of his favours, for our benefit. 

C. It is so. And therefore whatever 
benefits we receive from them, we must con- 
sider as received from God ; for the fact is 
that he bestows all those things upon us, by 
their agency. 

237 M. Bui: must we not give thanks to 
men, as often as they perform for us any of- 
fice of kindness. For that is dictated by nat- 
ural justice, and the law of humanity ? 

C. We must thank them, and for this sole 
reason, that God dignifies them with this* 

68 The Catechism of the 

honour, that those good things, which flow 
from the inexhaustible fountain of his ful- 
ness, are poured upon us as streams through 
their hands. By this method he binds us to 
them, and wills that we acknowledge the ob- 
ligation. Therefore, he who does not shew 
himself grateful to men, in this way betrays 
also ingratitude to God. 

238 M. May we conclude from hence 
that it is wkked to invoke either angels, or 
the holy servants of the Lord who have de- 
parted this life ? 

C. We may. For God has not assigned 
those services to the saints, that they should 
assist us. And as to the angels, although he 
uses their labours for our welfare, yet he will 
not have us pray to them. 

£39 M. Y ou say, then, that whatever does 
not agree and fitly accord with the order in- 
stituted of God contravenes his will. 

C. It is so, for it is a certain sign of unbe- 
lief, not to be contented with those things 
which God gives to us. If then we betake 
ourselves to the assistance of angels or de- 
parted saints, when God calls us to himself 
alone, if we transfer to them our confidence, 
which should rest entirely on him, we fall in- 
to idolatry; as we indeed impart among them, 
that which God challenges in full as belong- 
ing to himself alone. 

£40 M. Now let us treat of the nature of 
prayer. Is it enough in prayer to utter 
words, or does it require the understanding 
and the heart ? 

Church of Geneva. 


C. Words indeed are not always neces- 
sary ; but true prayer can never be offered 
without the understanding and the heart. 

£41 M. By what argument will you prove 
this to me ? 

C. Since God is a spirit, and in other du- 
ties always demands the heart from men. so 
he especially does in prayer, in which they 
converse with him. Nor does he promise 
himself to be nigh unto any, but those who 
call upon him in truth : But on the other hand* 
he holds in abomination all those who pray in 
hypocrisy, and not from the heart. 
* £4£ M. All those prayers are then vain 
and ineffectual which are made by the mouth 

C. Not only so ; but they are very die 
pleasing to God. 

243 M. What disposition does God re- 
quire in prayer ? 

C. First, that we be sensible of our pov- 
erty and wretchedness : and that a sense of 
these should produce grief and anxiety of 
mind. Secondly, that we be animated with 
such a vehement and devout desire to obtain 
the favour of God, as may enkindle in us a 
spirit of ardent prayer. 

£44 M. Is that disposition natural to men. 
or do they derive it from the grace of God ? 

C. In this the assistance of God is neces- 
sary ; for we are altogether stupid in both 

* Psalm cslv. 18, Isaiah sxix, 13. 


The Catechism of the 

those points. And it is the Spirit of God, as 
Paul says, who excites in our minds those 
unutterable groans, and creates those desires 
which are required in prayer.* 

£45 M. Does this doctrine imply that we 
may sit down, and indifferently w 7 ait the mo- 
tions of the Spirit, and that we have no oc- 
casion to stir up ourselves to prayer ? 

C. Not at all; but this is its tendency : 
that when we perceive ourselves to grow cold, 
sluggish, and indisposed to prayer, we should 
betake ourselves to God, and entreat that 
we may be awakened by the sharp convic- 
tions of the Holy Spirit, and thus be fitted for 
the duty of prayer. 

246 M. You do not mean, however, that 
there is no use for the voice in prayer ? 

C. By no means : for the voice is often 
a help to elevate and guide the mind, that it 
maybe restrained from wandering from God. 
Besides, as the tongue was created above the 
other members, to celebrate the glory of God., 
it is proper that its whole power should be 
devoted to this service. And besides, the ar- 
dour of devotion sometimes impels the 
tongue, without our intention, to utter itself 
in an audible voice. 

£47 M. If it is so, what profit do those 
have who pray in an unknown language, 
without understanding it themselves : 

C. That is nothing eLe, than trifling 

* Horn. viii. 25. Gal. nr. 6. 

Church of Geneva* 

with God ; therefore such hypocrisy should 
be removed from Christians. 

248 M. But when we pray, shall we do 
it at a. venture, uncertain of success: or 
does it become us to be certainly persuaded 
that we shall be heard r 

C. This should be the perpetual founda- 
tion of prayer; that we shall be heard, and 
shall obtain whatsoever we ask. as far as is 
conducive to our good. For this reason, 
Paul teaches that a right invocation of God 
flows from Faith : For no one ever, in a right 
manner, called upon God. unless he first rest* 
ed with a sure confidence upon his goodness. 

249. M. What then is the case with 
those who pray doubtingly, and are uncer- 
tain, whether they shall obtain any thing by 
praver, or whether they shall be even heard, 
of God r 

C. Their prayers are vain and useless, as 
they are supported by no promise. For we 
are commanded to ask with an assured Faith, 
and the promise is added, that whatsoever 
we ask believing, we shall receive.* 

250 M. But since we are, in so many re- 
spects, unworthy of his notice, how may we 
obtain this confidence, that we should pre- 
sume to place ourselves in his presence ? 

* Matth. xxi. 22. Mark xl 24. James L 6 
Pslam L 15, and xci. 15, and cxlv. 18. Isa. xxx, 
19, and lxv. £ Jer. xxix. 12. Joel ii. 32. Rom. 
vin. 25, and x. 13. 1 Tim. ii. 5. 1 John ii, 1, Heb 
If. 14, John xiv. 14-. 


The Catechism of Hit 

C. First, we have the promises, by which 
it is clearly determined, that the consider- 
ation of our own worthiness is omitted. 
Secondly, if we are sons, his Spirit will 
animate and awaken us, that we shall betake 
ourselves familiarly to him as to a Father, 
And although we are as worms of the dust, 
and pressed with the consciousness of our 
sins : yet that we may not dread his glorious 
majesty, he proposes to us Christ, the Me- 
diator, as the way in which we may approach 
him, with the confidence, that we .shall ob- 
tain his favour. 

251 M. You understand, then, that God 
is not to be approached, but in the name of 
Christ alone ? 

C. So I think : for he thus commands in ex- 
press words ; and the promise is added, that 
lie will grant, through his intercession, that 
we shall obtain those things which we ask. - 

252 M. They are not then to be accused 
of rashness or arrogance who, relying on this 
Advocate, familiarly approach God, and pro- 
pose nim alone, both to God and themselves, 
as the way of acceptance ? 

C. By no means : for he who thus prays 
offers his prayers, as from the mouth of his 
Advocate, knowing that his prayer is assist- 
ed and commended through his interces- 

£53 M. Let us now consider what the 

* Rom, via. 15, 33, 

Church of Geneva, 

prayers of believers ought to contain. Is it 
lawful to request of God any thing which 
enters our mind*, or is some certain rule to 
be observed ? 

C. It would be presumptuous, in prayer, 
to indulge our own inclinations and the will 
of the flesh : for we are too ignorant to de- 
termine what is best for ourselves, and we 
labour under those irregular appetites which 
It is necessary should be restrained with a 

254 M. What then must be done ? 

C. It is our privilege that God has pre- 
scribed for us the correct form of praying; ; 
that we may follow him as if preceding our 
words, and guiding us by the hand. 

255 M. What rule has he prescribed ? 
C. Ample and copious instruction on this 

subject is delivered to us in various parts of 
the scriptures. But that he might represent 
the object more clearly, he composed a for- 
mula, in which he has embraced and digest- 
ed into a few heads, whatever it is lawful 
for us to ask of God, or that is for our bene- 
fit to obtain. 

256 M. Rehearse it. 

C. Our Lord Jesus Christ, being asked 
by his disciples in what manner they should 
pray, answered, when ye pray, say, — Our 
Father, who art in Heaven j hallowed be thy 
name; thy kingdom come ; thy will be done, 
on earth as it is in heaven : Give us this day, 
our daily bread : Forgive us cur debt?, asive 

Hie Catechism of the 

forgive our debtors; and lead us not into 
temptation; but deliver us from evil: For 
thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glo- 
ry, forever. Amen. * 

257 M. That we may better understand 
what it contains, let us divide it into heads. 

C. It contains six parts : The three first 
respect only the glory of God, as their pecu- 
liar object. The otners respect us and our 

258 M. Is any thing then to be asked of 
God, from which no benefit is to be derived 
to ourselves ? 

C. He so orders all things from his infi- 
nite goodness, that whatever is for his glory 
is beneficial also to us. Therefore, when his 
name is sanctified, he causes it to turn to our 
sanctification. His kingdom cannot come, 
but that we are, in some manner, partakers 
of its privileges. But in praying for all 
these things, it is our duty, passing by all 
advantage to ourselves, to regard his glory 

259 M. Truly, according to this doc- 
trine, these three petitions are also connect- 
ed with our benefit. And yet we ought to 
aim at no other end, than this, that the name 
of God may be glorified. 

C. It is so, and in like manner the glory 
of God is to be regarded by us, in the other 
ttiree ; although these are peculiarly design* 

* Matt, vi. 9. Luke xi. 2. 

Church of Geneva. 

ed for them who pray for those things which 
are for their own health and benefit. 

260 M. Let us proceed now to an expo- 
sition of the words. And, first; why is the 
name Father, in preference to any other* 
here attributed to God. 

C. As the first requisite of prayer is to 
have a firm assurance of conscience, God as- 
sumes this name to himself, which signifies 
nothing but pure kindness, so that our minds 
being freed from all anxiety, he invites us, 
familiarly, to approach him in prayer. 

261 M. May we then confidently use that 
freedom in approaching God, which children 
commonly use in addressing their parents ? 

C. Yes, entirely ; and with a much surer 
confidence that we shall obtain what we ask. 
For, as our Lord teaches, if we, who are evil, 
cannot deny good things to our children : nor 
send them away empty 5 nor give them poi- 
son for bread ; how much more beneficence 
is to be expected from our heavenly Father, 
who is not only the chief good, but goodness 
itself ?* 

262 M. May we not, from this name also, 
draw an argument, to prove* that which was 
said in the beginning, that all prayers ought 
to be founded on the intercession of Christ. 

C. It does most assuredly. For God 
holds us in the place of children, only as we 
are the members of Christ. t 

* Matt, r'ih It f John xv, IT. Rom. viiL 15. 


The Catechism of the 

263 M. Why do you call him our Fath^ 
er in common, rather than your oivn, as an in- 
dividual ? 

C. Every believer is able to call him his 
own, but our Lord used this common appel- 
lation, that he might accustom us to the ex- 
ercise of charity in our prayers ; that no one 
should so much regard himself as to forget 

264 M. What do you mean by that clause, 
Who art in heaven ? 

C. It is the same, as if I should call him, 
exalted, powerful, and incomprehensible. 

265 M. Wherefore is it, and in what 
manner ? 

C. Truly, in this manner we are taught 
to raise our minds on high, when we pray to 
him, that our thoughts may not be occupied 
by earthly and carnal things ; that we may 
neither limit him by the measure of our un- 
derstanding, nor by judging too meanly of 
him, be disposed to bring him into subjection 
to our wills ; but that we may rather be taught 
to adore his glorious Majesty with fear and 
reverence. It tends also to awaken and con- 
firm our confidence in him, while he is de- 
clared to be the Lord and ruler of heaven, 
ordering all things after the counsel of his 
own w r ill. 

266 M. What is the sum of the first pe- 
tition ? 

C. By the name of God. the scriptures 
understand, that knowledge and glory of 

Church of Geneva. 75 

iiis which is celebrated among men. We 
pray therefore that his glory may be advan- 
ced every where and by all people. 

267 M. But can any thing be added to. 
or taken from his glory ? 

C. In himself he is neither increased nor 
diminished. Bat we desire him to be made 
manifest according to his excellency among 
all people ; that whatever God does, that all 
his works, as they are, so they may appear 
to be, glorious ; and that he may be glorified 
by all means. 

268 M. What do you understand by the 
kingdom of God, in the second petition ? 

C. It consists chiefly in two things ; that 
lie governs his elect, by his Spirit; and that 
he destroys the reprobate, who obstinately 
refuse to give up themselves in obedience to 
him ; that it may be manifest to all, that there 
is nothing, that is able to resist his power. 

£69 M. How do you pray, that this king* 
dom may come ? 

C. That the Lord would daily increase 
the number of believers ; that he would en* 
rich them constantly with fresh gifts of his 
Spirit, until they shail be perfected. More- 
over, that he would render his truth more 
luminous, and his righteousness more mani- 
fest, by scattering the darkness of Satan, and 
abolishing all iniquity. 

270 M. Do not all these things daily 
come to pass ? 

C* They so come to pass, that the king- 


The Catechism of the 

dom of God may be said to be begun. W e 
pray, therefore* that it may be continually 
increased and enlarged, until it shall be ad- 
vanced to its highest glory ; which we trust 
will be accomplished at the last day, when 
all creatures being reduced to subjection, 
God shall be exalted and shine forth ; and 
thus he shall be all in all.* 

£71 M. What is the meaning of this pe- 
tition, Thy ivill be done? 

C. That all creatures maybe in submis- 
sion to him ; and so depend on his pleasure, 
that nothing may be done but by his will. 

£72 M. Do you suppose then that any 
thing can be done contrary to his will ? 

C. We not only pray that what he has 
cleterniined with himself may come to pass ; 
but also that all obstinacy being subdued and 
subjected, he would bring the wills of all 
creatures into an harmonious obedience to 
his own. 

273 M. By praying in this manner do we 
not give up our own wills ? 

C. Entirely. And not merely to this 
end that he would destroy in us, whatever 
desires are opposed to his will ; but also that 
lie would form our understandings and hearts 
anew, govern us by his Spirit, and direct our 
prayers, so that our wills may be in perfect 
agreement with his. 

£74 M. Why do you pray that his will 
may be done on earth as it is in heaven ? 
* 1 Cor. xv. 28. 

Church of Geneva. 

C. As the holy angels, who are his heav- 
enly creatures, have but one purpose, to hear 
and obey his commands ; so I pray that men 
mav have the same disposition of obedience, 
and that each one may devote himself to him 
in a willing subjection. 

275 M. Let us now proceed to the sec- 
ond division : What do you understand by 
the daily bread which you ask ? 

C. In general, whatever conduces to the 
preservation of this present life; not only 
food and raiment, but all those supports, by 
which the necessities of the body are suppli- 
ed : and that we may eat our daily bread in 
quietness, as far as God shall judge to be ex- 

276 M. Why do you ask this to be given 
you of God, since he commands you to pro- 
vide it by your own labour ? 

C. Alth ough we must labour and sweat* 
for the purpose of preparing our daily food, 
yet we are not sustained by our labour, in- 
dustry, and care ; but by the blessing of God 
alone, by which the labour of our nands is 
prospered, which otherwise would be in vain. 
Besides, it is to be considered that although 
he supplies abundance of food to our hands, 
and we feed upon it, yet we are not support- 
ed by its substance, but by the power of God 
alone. For these things have originally no 
virtue of this kind in themselves, but their 
efficacy is of God, who from heaven adminisr^ 

The Catechism of the 

ters it, through these as the organs of hi£ 

277 M. But by what rule do you call it 
your bread, since you request it to be given 
you of God ? 

C. Truly, because it is made ours by the 
kindness of God, as it is by no means due to 
us. We are also admonished by this word, 
to refrain from seeking for ourselves, the 
bread of any other person ; and to be con- 
tented with whatever comes to us, in a law- 
ful way, as though it came to us immediately 
from the hand of God. 

278 M. Why do you add, daily and this 

C. By these two particulars, we are in- 
structed to use moderation and temperance ; 
lest our desires exceed the measure of our 

279 M. But as this prayer is for the use 
of all persons, how can the rich, who abound 
in provisions laid up in their houses for a long 
time, ask their bread to be given them daily r 

C. It is the duty of the rich and the poor 
alike, to hold this as settled ; that none of 
the things, which they possess, will profit on- 
ly so far as God, by his favour, shall grant 
them the use, and make the use itself fruit- 
ful and effectual. Therefore, in possessing 
all things, we have nothing, only as we hour- 
ly receive from the hand oi God, what is 
needful and enough. 

* Deut. viii. 3. Matt. iv. 4. 

Church of Geneva. 


280 M. What do you pray for in the fifth 

petition ? 

C. That the Lord would pardon our sins. 

281 M. Is there no one to he found, of 
all men, who is so just, as not to need this 
forgiveness ? 

C. No, not one. For when Christ gave 
this form of prayer to his disciples, he ap- 
pointed it for the whole Church. And there- 
fore, he who would exempt himself from this 
petition, ought to depart from the society of 
believers. And we have the sure testimony 
of the scriptures, that he who would contend 
to justify himself in one point, before God, 
would be found guilty of a thousand others. 
This one thing therefore alone remains for 
all, to take refuge in his mercy.* 

282 M. In what manner do you consider 
our sins to be forgiven us ? 

C . According to the meaning of the words 
of Christ ; that they are debts, which hold us 
bound by the condemnation of eternal death, 
until God shall deliver us by his pure munifi- 

283 Me You say then that we obtain the 
forgiveness of our sins by the abounding grace 
of God? 

C. Entirely — For if the punishment of 
one sin, even the least, was to be redeemed, 
we could, by no means, make the satisfaction. 
It is necessary therefore, that all sins lie gra- 
tuitously remitted and forgiven. 

* Heb. is, 3. 

30 The Catechism of the 

284 M. What benefit do we obtain by 

this remission ? 

C. Even this ; as we are made acceptable 
to him, as though we were innocent and 
righteous ; and at the same time, the confi- 
dence of his paternal benevolence is confirm- 
ed in our consciences, whence salvation is 
made sure to us. 

285 M. What is the condition appoint- 
ed, That he would forgive z/s, as we forgive 
our debtors ? Does it mean, that by pardon- 
ing men their offences against us, we our- 
selves merit pardon of God ? 

C, By no means ; for then it would not 
be a gratuitous remission ; nor would it be 
founded, as it ought, solely on the satisfaction 
of Christ, which he made for us on the cross. 
But by forgiving the injuries committed a- 
gainst us, we shall imitate the clemency and 
goodness of God, and prove by this that we 
are the children of God. By this rule, he 
would confirm us ; and at the same time, on 
the other hand, shew us that unless we are 
ready and willing to forgive others, we can 
expect nothing else from him, but the highest 
and most inexorable rigour and severity. 

286 M. This then you say, that all those, 
who will not, from the heart, forgive offen- 
ces, are rejected of God, and excluded from 
the adoption of children ; nor can they hope 
that there will be, in heaven, any forgiveness 
with God. 

C. So I think; that the saying may be 

fiilfilled : The same measure which anyone 

Church of Geneva* 


iias meeted oat to others, shall be measured 
back to him again. 

£87 M. What is the next petition ? 

C. That the Lord would not lead us into 
temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

£88 M. Do you include the whole of this, 
in one petition ? 

C. It must be one petition ; as the last 
clause is an explanation of the first. 

£89 M. What does it summarily con- 
tain ? 

C. That the Lord would not permit us to 
fall into sin ; nor leave us to be overcome br 
the devil, nor by the lusts of our flesh, which 
carry on an unceasing war with us ; but that 
he would rather provide us with his pow- 
er for resisting; sustain us by his hand, and 
defend and cover us with his shield ; that so, 
under the confidence of his guardianship, we 
may dwell in safety. 

£90 M. But how is that done ? 

C. When, by the influence of his Spirit^ 
we are imbued, with such a love and desire 
of righteousness, that we overcome sin, the 
flesh, and the devil ; and on the other hand, 
with such a hatred of sin, as separates us 
from the world, and retains us in holiness. 
For our victory is effected by the ppwer of 
the Spirit. 

£91 M. Have all persons need of this as- 
sistance ? 

C. Yes ; for the devil continually watch- 
es us ; and as a roaring lion goes about seek 

8£ Tfie Catechism of the 

ing whom he may devour. And we should, 
at once consider how weak we are; nay, 
that we should be overcome at each moment, 
unless God prepared us for the warfare with 
his armour, and strengthened us by his hand. 

292 M. What is the meaning of the word 
temptation ? 

C. The cunning and deceitfulness of Sa* 
tan, with which he constantly attacks us, 
and would with ease entirely circumvent 
us, unless we were assisted by the help of 
God. For our understandings, from their 
native vanity, are exposed to his wiles ; and 
our wills, from their depraved propensity to 
evil, would wholly yield to him. 

£93 M. But why do you pray, that God 
would not lead you into temptation, since it 
appears to be the work of Satan, and not of 

C. As God defends believers by his pro- 
tection, that they may neither be ensnared 
with the wiles of Satan, nor overcome by 
sin ; so those, whom be accounts worthy of 
punishment, he not only deprives of his 
grace, but also strikes with blindness ; gives 
up to a reprobate mind ; and delivers over 
to the power of Satan, that they may be en- 
tirely the servants of sin, and exposed to all 
the assaults of temptation. 

294 M. What is the meaning of this con- 
clusion, For thine is the kingdom, thepow- 
■%r 9 and the glory forever ? 

C. By this we are again reminded, that 

Church of Geneva. 


our prayers are more strengthened, by his 
power and goodness, than by any confi- 
dence of our own. Besides, we are taught 
to close all our prayers with the praises of 

295 M. Is it lawful to ask nothing of 
God, but what is comprehended in this for- 
mulary ? 

C. Although we haye liberty to pray in 
other words, and in another manner, still 
however, it is to be considered, that no pray- 
er can be pleasing to God, which is not re- 
ferred to this, as the correct standard of the 
nature of prayer. 


296 M. Now the proposed method of in- 
struction requires of us, to treat of the fourth 
part, of the honour due to God. 

C. We said that it consisted in this, that 
we acknowledge God to be the author of all 
good, and that we confess his goodness, jus- 
tice, wisdom, and power, with praise and 
thanksgiving ; that the fulness and glory of 
all blessings may abide in him. 

297 M. What rule has he prescribed for 
■ this duty ? 

C. Those praises of him, which are pub- 
lished in the scriptures, should be received, 
as a rule for us* 


The Catechism of the 

298 M. Does not the Lord's prayer eon- 
tain something which applies to this duty ? 

C. Yes, when we pray that his name may 
be sanctified, we desire that his glory may- 
be manifested in all his works ; that his mer- 
cy may appear in pardoning sinners, or his 
justice in punishing them : and his faithful- 
ness in fulfilling his promises to his people ; 
finally, that whatever of his works we be- 
hold, it may excite us to glorify him. This 
is truly to ascribe to him the praise of all 

299 M. What shall we conclude from 
those things, about which we have already 
treated ? 

C. That which the truth itself teaches ; 
and the same which I proposed at first ; that 
this is eternal life, to know the only true 
God, the Father, and Jesus Christ, whom he 
hath sent. To know him, I say, that we 
may render to him due honour and worship ; 
not only as he is our Lord, but also our Fa- 
ther and Saviour ; and in our turn that we 
are his sons and servants ; and therefore that 
we devote our life to the celebration of his 

300 M. In what way shall we arrive at 
so great a good ? 

C. For this end God has left us his holy 
word. For his spiritual doctrine is as the 
door by which we enter his celestial king- 

SOI M. Where must we seek this word : 
* Job xvii, 3. 

Church of Geneva-. 

C. In the holy scriptures, in which it is 

302 M. How must the word be used, 
that we may receive fruit from it ? 

C. We must embrace it with a firm per- 
suasion of heart, as the very truth delivered 
to us from heaven : we must yield ourselves 
teachable, and submit our understandings 
and wills, in obedience to it : we must love 
it from the heart, that being engraven on 
our souls, it may take deep root and produce 
its fruits in our lives : and when we are con- 
formed to this rule, it will become our salva 
tion, as it is appointed. 

303 M. Are all these tilings put in our 
power ? 

C. Not one of them indeed. But it is 
of God alone, by the grace of his Holy Spirit, 
to effect in us all that I have mentioned. 

304 M. But must we not give diligence, 
and strive with all earnestness, by reading, 
hearing, and meditating, that we may profit 
therein ? 

C. Yes, truly : and each one should not 
only daily exercise himself in private, read- 
ing ; but also at the same time, with special 
attention, frequently hear sermons in public 
meetings, where the doctrine of salvation is 

u 305 M. You say then that it is not suffi- 
cient for any one to Vead by himself at home : 
but that all must assemblev together, to^hea^ 
the same doctrine, 


The Catechism of the 

C. It is a duty to assemble together* 
when the opportunity is given. 

506 M. Can you prove this to me ? 

C. The will of God alone ought to sat- 
isfy us, abundantly, for proof. He com- 
mended this order to his Church, not that, 
two or three only should observe it ; but that 
all should unitedly be subject to it. Be- 
sides, he declares this to be the only method 
for the edification and preservation of his 
Church. This therefore should be to us a 
holy and inviolable rule, that it is not law- 
ful for any one to assume to himself, to be 
wise above his master. 

307 M. Is it then necessary that there 
should be pastors in the Churches ? 

C. Yes ; and it is our duty to hear them, 
and to receive from their mouths, with fear 
and reverence, the doctrines of Christ which 
they publish. Those then who contemn them, 
or withdraw from hearing them, despise 
Christ, and make a division in the society of 

308 M. Is it enough for a man, to have 
been once instructed by his pastor ; or ought 
this course to be pursued through life. 

C. It is useless to begin, unless you per- 
severe. For it becomes us to be the disci- 
ples of Christ even unto the end, or rather 
without end. And he hath committed this 
office to the ministers of the Church, that 
they should teach us in his name and stead, 

* Matt 40, 

Church of Geneva. 87 


309 M. Are there not other means, be* 
sides the word, by which God communicates 
himself to us ? 

C. Yes, to the preaching of the word, he 
has added the sacraments. 

310 M. What is a sacrament ? 

C. It is an outward testimony of the di- 
vine benevolence towards us, which, by a 
visible sign, shadows forth spiritual graces, 
by which .the promises of God are sealed in 
our hearts, that the truth of them may be- 
more firmly established. 

311 M. Is there such great power in the 
visible sign, as to confirm our consciences in 
the confidence of salvation ? 

C. It has not indeed that efficacy of it- 
self, but from the will of God, a3 it is insti- 
tuted for this end. 

312 M. Since it is the peculiar office of 
the Holy Spirit, to seal in our minds the 
promises of God, how do you attribute this 
to the sacraments ? 

C. The difference between the Spirit 
and these is very great. For it is truly the 
work of the Spirit alone to move and affect 
the heart, to illuminate the understanding, 
and to render the conscience stable and 
tranquil ; and that work ought to be ac- 
counted wholly his own, and acceptance 
should be referred to him, lest the praise 


Tlie Catechism of the 

be transferred elsewhere. But this by no 
means prevents, but that God uses the sacra- 
ments as secondary organs* and applies those 
things in their use as seemeth him good $ 
and he so does it, that nothing is derogated 
from the power of the Spirit. 

313 M. You believe then, that the power 
and efficacy of the sacrament, do not consist 
in the external element, but that they pro- 
ceed solely from the Spirit of God ? 

C. So I think. And truly it pleases the 
Lord to put forth his power, through his own 
institutions, for that end, for which he ap- 
pointed them 5 and he does this in a man- 
ner, which detracts nothing from the power 
of his Spirit. 

C. Truly, in this manner, he consults our 
infirmity. If we were wholly spiritual, like 
the angels, then we should be able spiritually 
to discern both him and his graces : but a6 
we are enclosed in this earthly body, we 
need figures or glasses, which, in some sen- 
sible manner, may exhibit the spiritual aspect 
of heavenly things ; which otherwise we 
should not be able to discern. At the same 
time, it is for our benefit that all our senses 
be exercised on the promises of God, that 
they may be more strongly confirmed to us. 

315 M. If it is true, that the sacraments 
were instituted of God, to be helps of our in- 
firmities, must not those be justly condemn- 

Can you give me a reason why 

he operates in this way ? 

Church of Geneva. 


ed of arrogance, who judge themselves to be 
sufficient without them, or who account them 
useless ? 

C. Most certainly. And therefore, if any- 
one abstain wilfully from the use of them, 
as if he had no need of them, he despises 
Christ, spurns at his grace, and extinguishes 
the Spirit, 

316 M. But what confidence or real se- 
curity, for confirming our consciences, can 
be derived from the sacraments, which are 
used promiscuously by the good and the 
bad ? 

C. Although the gifts of God are, in the 
sacraments, offered to the wicked, yet they 
reduce them to nothing, as I may say, in so 
far as it respects themselves ; still however, 
they do not destroy the nature and power 
which the sacraments have in themselves. 

317 M. How and when does the effect 
follow the use of the sacraments ? 

C. When we receive them by faith, seek- 
ing, in them, only Christ and his grace. 

318 M. Why do you say that Christ is 
to be sought in them ? 

C. I do not understand, that he is in- 
herent in the visible signs, so that we should 
seek salvation from them, or imagine any 
power of conferring grace to be affiled to 
them, or shut up in them. But the sign is 
rather to be considered as a help, by which 
we are directly conducted to Christ, seeking 

h 2 


The Catechism of the 

from him salvation and every durable bles- 

319 M. As faith is required, for the right 
use of the sacraments, how do you say, that 
they are given to us for the confirmation of 
faith, that they may render us more certain 
of the promises of God ? 

C. It is by no means sufficient, that faith 
be once begun in us, unless it be continually 
nourished and increased daily, more and 
more. For this end the Lord instituted the 
sacraments, to nourish, strengthen, and en- 
crease our faith. And this Paul teaches, 
when he says that these avail for sealing the 
promises of God.* 

320 M. But is it not a proof of unbelief, 
if we have not an established faith in the 
promises of God, unless they are confirmed 
to us by other means ? 

C. This surely argues the weakness of 
faith, under which the children of God la- 
bour; who still, on that account, do not 
cease to be believers, although as yet they 
are endowed with small and imperfect faith. 
For as long as we are conversant in this 
world, the remains of distrust always adhere 
to our flesh, which we are no otherwise able 
to shake off, than by continually making 
progress to the end of life. It is the duty of 
every one therefore to make farther progress 
in faith. 

* Rom. iv. 11, &c. 

Church of Geneva* 91 

321 M. How many sacraments are there 
in the Christian Church ? 

C. Two only ; the use of whi ch is common 
among all believers. 

322 M. Which are they ? 

C. Baptism and the Holy Supper. 

323 M. What is the resemblance or dif- 
ference between them ? 

C. Baptism is the appropriate way of 
entrance into the Church. For in this we 
have the testimony, that we who were before 
strangers and foreigners are received into 
the family of God, and numbered among his 
household. But the Supper witnesses that 
God, by nourishing our souls, shews himself 
a Father to us. 

324 M. That the nature of each may 
more distinctly appear, let us treat them 
separately. First, what is the signification of 
Baptism ? 

C. It has two parts : First, it represents 
the forgiveness of sins : Secondly, the regen- 
eration of the soul.* 

325 M. What resemblance has water 
with these things, that it should represent 
them ? , 

C. Forgiveness of sins is indeed a species 
of washing, by which souls are cleansed from 
their defilement, even as the filth of the body 
is washed off with water. 

326 M. But how does water represent 
regeneration ? 

* Eph, v, 26, Rdit*. v>. 4. 


The Catechism of the 

C. In as much as the beginning of regen- 
eration is the mortification of our nature, 
and its end, our becoming new creatures ; 
so, by putting water on the head, the figure 
of death is represented ; and as we do not 
remain buried in the water, but enter it oniy 
for a moment, and come forth immediately 
as from a sepulchre, a resurrection to new- 
ness of life is typified.* 

* Calvin, in this answer, alludes to both the modes 
of Baptism, affusion and dipping*, as he held neither 
mode exclusively essential. The Romish Church 
practised both methods, as appears from WalPs 
History of Baptism, Part 2d Ch. 9th., who offers 
abundant proof, that the learned Fathers of the 
primitive Church used either mode as equally 
authorised, as the case of the person or the cus- 
tom of the place required. And affusion, Car- 
dinal Bonaventure says, was probably the prac- 
tice of the apostles, and in his time (1260) was 
used in the Churches in France and some others. — 
" With us" Erasmus says, (that is, in Holland.) 

they have the water poured on them." In the in- 
stitutes B. 4, Ch. 15. 19, Calvin says — Caeterum mer- 
gaturne totus qui tingitur, idque ter an semel, an 
infusa tantum aqua aspergatur, minimum refert : 
sed id pro regionurn diversitate ecclesiis liberum esse 
debet. — But whether he who is baptized -be wholly 
dipped, and that thrice or once, or whether he be 
sprinkled only with water poured upon him, is of 
very small moment ; but that should be feee for 
ihe Churches according to the diversity of climute 
Calvin, in the form which he drew up for the ad- 
ministration of the sacraments, orders the act of 
baptizing thus — The name being given — Then tits 
mister pour$ the tcater of baptism npen the kev.daf 

Church of Geneva. 


327 M. Do you suppose the water is the 
laver of the soul ? 

C. By no means, It is unlawful to wrest 
this honour from the blood of Christ, which 
was shed for this end, that we being cleansed 
from all our spots, he might present us pure 
and undefiled before God. And we indeed 
receive the fruit of this cleansing, when the 
Holy Spirit sprinkles our consciences with 
his sacred blood. But we have the seal of 
this cleansing in the sacrament.* 

328 M. Do you attribute any thing to 
the water, only as it is a figure of cleans- 
ing ? 

C. I consider it to be a figure, but at the 
same time, it has the substance connected 
with it. For God, in promising us his gifts, 
does not deceive us. Therefore, as forgive- 
ness of sins and newness of life are offered 
to us in baptism, so it is certain that they are 
received by us. 

329 M. Has this grace its effect, promis- 
cuously upon all ? 

C. Many indeed close up the way to it, 
by their corruption, and make it a vain thing 

the infant — saying, I baptize thee in the name of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of tlie Holy Ghost. — He 
adds soon after, " It cannot by any means be denied^ 
but that we hold the same form and method of bap- 
tism, which Christ prescribed, and the apostles fol- 
lowed, and which was also held as the instituted 
mode in the ancient and primitive Churclk 5 ' Vol. 
viii. Ejus Operum p. 34. 

* 1 Peter i. 19. 1 John *. 7. 


The Catechism of the 

to themselves ; so that believers only are 
partakers of this fruit ; but that diminishes 
nothing from the nature of the sacrament. 

330 M. Whence have we regeneration ? 

C. Both from the death and resurrection 
of Christ. For this power is in his death, 
that by it our old man is crucified, and the 
corruption of our nature is, in a manner, bu- 
ried, so that it no more prevails in us ; but 
it is the benefit of the resurrection, that we 
are begotten unto a new life, to the obedi- 
ence of the righteousness of God. 

331. M. How are these benefits confer- 
red on us by baptism ? 

C. As by this we are clothed with Christ, 
and endowed with his Spirit, unless by re- 
jecting the promises, we render the benefits 
offered therein to us unfruitful. 

332 M. What must we do, in order to 
use baptism in a right manner ? 

C. The right use of baptism is placed in 
faith and repentance ; that is, that we first 
determine, by a sure confidence of soul, that 
we are cleansed from all spots by the blood 
of Christ, and are acceptable to God ; then 
that we believe that his Spirit dwells in us : 
and that we make this manifest by our works 
among others $ and also that we assiduously 
exercise ourselves in striving for the mortifi- 
cation of the flesh, and obedience to the will 
of God. 

333 M. If these things are required for 
the legitimate use of baptism, how comes it 
to pass that we baptize infants ? 

Church of Geneva. 95 

C. It is not necessary, that faith and re- 
pentance always precede baptism. These 
are required only of those who from age are 
capable of both. It is sufficient, if infants, 
after they come of age, produce the fruits of 
their baptism. 

334 M. Can you prove to me that there 
is nothing unreasonable in this ? 

C. Truly, I can, if it is conceded to me, 
that our Lord instituted hothing which is un- 
reasonable. For although Moses and all the 
prophets teach, that circumcision was the 
sign of repentance, and Paul that it was the 
seal of -the righeousness of faith ; yet, we see, 
that infants were not excluded from it.* 
^ 335 M. But are infants admitted to bap- 
tism now, for the same reason that they were 
then admitted to circumcision ? 

C. Entirely the same. For the promises, 
which God gave to the people of Israel, are 
now published through the whole world. 
. 336 M. Do you conclude from this that 
the sign is also to be used ? 

C. He who well examines the subject on 
both sides, will observe that this is the con- 
sequence. ^ For Christ has not made us par- 
takers of his grace, which was before given to 
Israel, by a measure, which should be to us 
either more obscure, or in any part diminish- 
ed ; but he has rather poured forth his grace 
upon us, in a more clear and abundant man- 

* Beut xxx. 6. Jer. iv. 4, Horn, iv. 11- 


The Catechism of the 

337 M. Do you think, that if infants were 
excluded from baptism, they would, on that 
account, so lose any of the favour ot God, 
as that it might be said, that their privileges 
were diminished by the coming of Christ ? 

C. That is indeed evidently manifest. 
For the sign being taken away, which avail- 
ed so much in testifying the mercy, and con- 
firming the promises of God ; we should be 
deprived of that most excellent consolation, 
which the Church from the beginning enjoy- 

338 M. This is your opinion then ; for 
as much as God, under the Old Testament, 
that he might shew himself to be the Father 
of little children, commanded the promise of 
salvation to be engraven on their bodies, by 
a visible sign ; that it would be a reproach, if 
believers, after the coming of Christ, should 
have a less confirmation ; when the same 
promise, which was formerly given to the 
Fathers, is ordained for us in these days, 
when God exhibits to us in Christ a clearer 
manifestation of his goodness ? 

C. So I think. Besides, as it is suffi- 
ciently evident, that the power and substance 

iso to speak) of baptism, are common to in- 
ants, tnen if the sign is denied them, which 
is inferiour to the substance, a manifest in- 
jury will be done them. 

339 M. For what purpose then are in- 
fants baptized ? 

G. That they may have the visible seal> 

Church of Geneva, 97 

that they are the heirs of the blessings prom- 
ised to the seed of believers ; and that after 
they come to years of discretion, the sub- 
stance of their baptism being acknowledged, 
they may, from it, receive and bring forth 

340 M. Let us proceed to the Supper ; 
and in the first place, I would know of you 
what is its signification ? 

C. It was instituted by Christ, that by 
the communion of his body and blood, he 
might nourish our souls in the hope, and give 
us assurance of eternal life. 

341 M. Why is the body of our Lord 
represented by bread and the blood by wine ? 

C. We are taught by this, that as bread 
has the power of nourishing our bodies, and 
of sustaining the present life $ so the same 
power is in the body of our Lord for the 
spiritual nourishment of our souls : and as 
with wine the hearts of men are cheered , 
their powers renewed, and the whole body 
strengthened, so from the blood of Christ, the 
same oenefits are to be received by our souls. 

S42 M. Are we then fed by the body and 
blood of the Lord ? 

C. So I think • For as in this is placed 
our whole confidence of salvation, that the 
obedience which he has rendered to the Fa- 
ther should be imputed to us, and accounted 
as ours, so it is necessary that he should be 
received by u# ; for we are not otherwise 



The Catechism of the 

made partakers of his benefits, but only as he 
makes himself ours. 

343 M. But did he not then give him- 
self to us, when he offered himself to death, 
that he might reconcile us, redeemed from 
the sentence of death, to the Father ? 

C. That is indeed true ; but it is not 
sufficient for us, unless we now receive him, 
that we may partake of the fruit and efficacy 
of his death. 

544 M. Does not the manner of our re- 
ceiving Christ consist then in faith ? 

C. Yes, but I add this, that it be done, 
while we not only believe that he died to 
deliver us from death, and rose again to pro- 
cure life for us ; but also that we acknowl- 
edge that he dwells in us ; and that we are 
united to him, by that kind of union, by which 
the members are united to the head, so that, 
by the privilege of this union, we may be 
made partakers of all his benefits. 

345 M. Do we obtain this communion 
through the Supper only ? 

C. By no means. For by the gospel, as 
Paul testifies, Christ is communicated to us, 
as we are therein taught, that we are flesh of 
his flesh, and bone of his bone ; that he is the 
living bread, which came down from heaven 
to nourish our souls ; that we are one with 
him, even as he is one with the Father : and 
such like things.* 

346 M. What other benefit does the sac- 
rament confer on us ? 

* 1 Cor. h 6.. Eph. v. 30, John. vi. 51, and im 21- 

Church of Geneva, 


C. This — That the communion which I 
mentioned is strengthened and confirmed to 
us. For although both in baptism and the 
gospel, Christ is offered to us 5 yet in these 
we receive him, only in part. 

347 M. What have we then in the sym- 
bol of the bread ? 

C. The body of Christ : that as he was 
once offered a sacrifice for us, to reconcile us 
to God, so now he is te be given to us, that 
we may assuredly know that reconciliation 
belongs to us. 

348 M . What have we in the symbol of 
the wine ? 

C. As Christ poured out his blood once, 
in satisfaction for sins, and as the price of our 
redemption 5 so we believe, that it is now 
reached out to be drank by us, that we may 
receive its benefits. 

349 M. According to these two answers, 
the Holv Supper of the Lord calls us back to 
his death, that we may partake of its effica- 
cy ? 

C. Yes, wholly. For at that time, one 
only and perpetual sacrifice was perfected 5 
which might suffice for our salvation. There- 
fore nothing more remains for us, but to re- 
ceive its fruits. 

350 M. Was not the Supper then institu- 
ted for this end, that we should offer to God, 
the body cf his Son ? 

C. By no means. For the prerogative 
of offering for sins belongs to Christ alone. 


The Catechism of the 

as he is the eternal Priest. And this is the 
meaning of his word when he says. Take and 
eat. He does not here command us to offer 
his bodv but only that we should feed upon 

351 M. Why do we use two signs ? 

C. In this the Lord consults our infir- 
mity, as he would teach us more familiarly, 
that he is not only the food for our souls, 
but also the drink : that we may seek our 
spiritual life wholly in him alone. 

352 M. Should all persons without ex- 
ception equally use both r 

C. So Christ commands; and it is the 
highest impiety for any one to derogate in any 
manner from that, by attempting any thing 

353 M. Have we in the Supper the sig:n 
only of those benefits, you mentioned or are 
they therein, in very deed, ^iven to us r 

C. As Christ our Lord is truth itself, it 
is not to be doubted at all, but t' .at he fulfils 
to us, at the same time, those promises which 
he gives to us therein, and adds its substance 
to the figure. Wherefore I do not doubt, 
but that as he is witnessed by words and signs, 
so he will make us partakers of his substance, 
that we may be united with him in one life. 

354 M. " But how can this be done, since 
the body of Christ is in heaven, and we are 
still sojourners on earth ? 

* Heb v. 10. Matt. xxvL 29. 

Church of Geneva. 101 

C. He effects this by the marvellous and 
secret influence of his Spirit; with whom it 
is easy to unite those things which are oth- 
erwise separated by a great distance of pla- 

355 M. You do not suppose then that 
the body of Christ is enclosed in the bread , 
or his blood in the cup ? 

C. By no means ; but I think this, that 
in order to possess the substance of the signs, 
our minds must be raised to heaven, where 
Christ is, and from whence we look for him, 
the Judge and Redeemer. But it is wicked 
and useless to look for him in these earthly 

356 M. That we may sum up in one head 
the things which you have said : You assert 
that there are two things in the Supper, viz, 
Bread and wine* which are seen with the eyes, 
handled with the hands, and perceived by 
the taste ; and finally that our souls spirit- 
ually feed upon Christ, as their own proper 

C. Yes, truly ; and therein is the resur- 
rection of our bodies also confirmed to us, 

by a given pledge, as they are made par - 
takers of the symbol of life." 

357 M. But what is the true and lawful 
use of this sacrament r 

C. Such as Paul defines it to be : Let a 
man examine himself, and so let him eat at' 
that bread and drink of that cup.* 
* 1 Cor. xi. 23, 
i 2 

102 The Catechism of the 

358 M. What should be the object of 
this examination ? 

C. Whether he is a true member of 

359 M. By what evidence shall he know 
that he is a true member of Christ ? 

C. If he possesses true faith and repen- 
tance ; if he exercises sincere love towards 
his neighbours ; if his mind is free from all 
hatred and malice. 

360 M. But do you require in man per- 
fect faith and charity ? 

C. Truly, it is necessary that both faith 
and charity be free from all hypocrisy. But 
among men no one will ever be found abso- 
lutely perfect. Therefore the Holy Supper 
would have been instituted in vain, if no one 
might partake of it who is not wholly per- 

361 M. Should not the imperfection then, 
under which we here labour, prevent our 
coming to the Supper ? 

C. "By no means, for if we were perfect, 
the Supper would have no further use among 
us, as it is appointed to be a help for reliev- 
ing our weakness, and a refuge for oiir im- 

362 M. Have not these two sacraments 
some other proposed end ? 

C. They are also marks, and as it were 
tokens of our profession. For in the use of 
them we profess our faith among men, and 
testify, that we have one mind ki the religion 
of Christ 

Church of Geneva. 


363 M. If any one should despise the 
use of these, in what estimation is he to be 

C. This certainly would be judged to be 
an indirect denial of Christ ; and certainly 
such an one, since he disdains to profess 
himself a Christian, is unworthy to be num- 
bered among Christians. 

364 M. Is it sufficient to have received 
each sacrament once in a whole life ? 

C. One baptism is indeed sufficient, and 
this cannot lawfully be repeated : But with 
regard to the Supper it is different. 

365 M. What is that difference ? 

C. By baptism the Lord introduces and 
adopts us into his Church, and thencefor- 
ward considers us, as of his family : after he 
has written us in the number of his people f 
he testifies by the Supper, that he takes care 
of us, and nourishes us as his members. 

366 M; Does the administration of bap- 
tism and the Supper alike appertain to all. 

C. By no means : for these are the pe- 
culiar duties of those to whom is committed 
the public office of teaching : for to feed the 
Church with the doctrine of salvation and to 
administer the sacraments are things united 
in a perpetual connection among themselves. 

367 M. Are you able to prove that to me 
by the testimony of scripture ? 

C. Christ, indeed, gave the commission 
of baptizing expressly to the apostles ; but 
in the celebration of the Supper, he comman 

104 The Catechism of the 

ded us to follow his example : and the Evan- 
gelists inform us, that he performed in that 
distribution the office of a public minister.* 

368 M. But ought those pastors, to whom 
the dispensation of the sacraments is commit- 
ted, generally to admit all persons without 
distinction ? 

C. As it respects baptism, since it is ad- 
ministered at the present day only to infants, 
all are to be admitted without distinction : 
but at the Supper, the minister ought to take 
care not to communicate it to any one who 
is publicly known to be unworthy. 

369 M. Why not ? 

C. Because it cannct be done without a 
contempt and profanation of the sacrament. 

370 M. But did not Christ honour Judas, 
however impious, with the sacrament ? 

C. Yes, but his impiety was at that time 
secret ; for although Christ himself knew it, 
still it was not as yet known to man. 

371 M. What then shall be done with 
hypocrites ? 

C. The pastor has no power to reject 
them as unworthy $ but he ought to wait till 
God so far reveals their iniquity, as that it 
becomes known to men. 

372 M. What if he should know or be in- 
formed, that some one w as unworthy ? 

C. That would by no means be sufficient 
for rejecting him from the communion, unless 

* Matt xxviii, 19. Luke xxii. 19. 

thureii of Geneva. 


there be first had a legitimate trial and judg= 
ment of the Church. 

373 M. It is important then to have a 
certain order of government established in 
the Churches ? 

C. It is true ; for otherwise they can 
neither be well established nor correctly gov- 
erned. And this is the order 5 that Elders 
be chosen who may preside in the Censura 
morum, or superintend the discipline of mor- 
als, and watch to correct small offences ; and 
who shall reject from the communion, those 
whom they Know to be without a capacity for 
receiving the Supper ; and those who cannot 
be admitted without dishonouring God, and 
giving offence to the brethren. 









" The Catechism commonly called dh. Alexander 
nowell's," which was sanctioned in the Convo- 
cation of Bishops and Clergy in 1562, and 
published 1570, " as a standing summary of 
the doctrines of the English Church, " is 
in substance the Catechism of Calvin 


TO "WliLIAM S. JOHtfSim, JLt £. 


IT is with diffidence, though witk 
much personal respect, that I presume to 
Address you in this public manner. The 
purpose, whifeh I hope to accomplish by the 
use of your name, as a medium of commu- 
hication to others, will, I flatter myself, be 
as consonant to your wishes for the increase 
of brotherly love, as those wishes are sincere 
and benevolent. 

Your attachment, from habit and princi- 
ple, to the Articles and Liturgy of the Eng- 
lish Church, is, I know, associated with can- 
dour, and with esteem for those Churches 
which were formed, as our venerable ances- 
tors believed, after the pure pattern of the 
apostles. Your experience, in a profession., 
and in other dignified stations, best adapted 
to perfect it, has taught you highly to appre- 
ciate the social habits, and civil and religious 
privileges, which have been cherished and 
enjoyed, in an unparalleled degree, under 
the benign influence of that ecclesiastical 
polity, which w^s established by the feth&TS 



of Connecticut. Educated myself in ftie 
doctrines and worship of the consociated 
Churches, I have noticed? with much pleas- 
ure, the anxiety, which you have expressed^ 
to have all religious denominations unite as 
brethren, in defending the cause of Christ* 
against the hostile invaders of its purity and 
peace : That they would cease to bite and 
devour one another, and oppose, heart and 
hand, their evangelical armour, to the as- 
saults of the common enemy, who, through 
the selfish zeal of party, the cunning of her- 
esy, and the calumny of infidelity, are la- 
bouring to deface the peculiar doctrines of 
Christ, not merely from the confessions of 
the Churches, but from the scriptures them- 

To remove the barriers which obstruct 
this union, among the Churches differing m 
external order ; to avoid the evils of a di- 
vided house, and to bring their minds to 
verge to the single point of duty and of ul- 
timate interest ; it is all important, that the 
members exercise coolness enough to con- 
sider, and candour enough to acknowledge, 
that the cause of Christ is one, and a com- 
mon cause, to them all : and that their prin- 
cipal differences are concerning those things 
which accompany the worship of God, rather 
than about the worship itself, as to its spirit- 
ual purpose and sanctifying effect. Agreed, 
in the doctrines of faith, though differing in 
the manner* in which thev chuse to exhibit 

Jlppeiidw\ 111 

that faith, by the outward acts of devotion ; 
let them in this, you candidly say, still dif- 
fer ; only, however, let them be agreed to 
differ, with that charity which envieth not, 
which hopeth all things, and endureth all 
things, for the edification of the body of 
Christ. In this, I am confident, that I ex- 
press the desires of your heart j and I am 
not less so, that it was the devout desire of 
Calvin, by his labours and his writings, to 
cherish among all the Churches union in 
faith, and fellowship in doctrines. To pro- 
mote this was his professed object, in pub- 
lishing his Catechism ; in which he has pru- 
dently avoided all discussion, about rites and 
ceremonies, that might give offence to the 
Churches differing, in their external order, 
from his own. 

It was with pleasure, that I learned from 
you that, in your opinion, the life of Calvin, 
recently published, would have an influence 
in bringing more extensively, into public 
view, his true character and opinions ; and 
in checking the torrent of abuse, which, by 
the ignorant and the prejudiced, was so pro- 
fusely heaped upon both. Your wish, after 
the perusal of that work, to have something 
given to the public, which should definitely 
express his religious opinions, was among 
the motives, which influenced me to enter 
upon the difficult task of translating his Cat*- 
echism. This work will, most unquestiona- 
bly, afford, in a concise and summary way. 

1 12 JpjjendLw 

theses t exposition of that Reformer's doctrin- 
al system. And it will perhaps be useful to 
many i and possibly to some of those, who 
have, unwarrantably, indulged a most im- 
passioned zeal against the man, who united 
with great talents and profound learning, 
more modesty and majesty of character, than 
has been imparted, by the Author of all gilts, 
to almost any one, of any age. This hostil- 
ity, against his name and his writings, while 
it has operated as to them, like the wind 
against the thrifty oak, to strike its roots 
deeper, and throw its branches wider, is now 
apparently dying away, and a temper of re- 
spect for his name and his system is return? 
ing, as in the days of the reformation. 

To review the doctrines of that period, 
when the holy scriptures were studied by 
men of great minds, with undivided atten- 
tion : when sacred literature was matured 
to a degree, which has not probably since 
been surpassed z may be conducive to the 
purpose of drawing the lire of distinction, 
not between a Church ; s name or that, 
but between those who have a love for re- 
ligion, and those who have none. And be 
assured, Sir, that my object in giving the fol- 
lowing details of the Catechisms of the Eng- 
lish Church, and offering proofs pf resenir 
blance between Dr. NovrelPs and Cainirs, 
is not to maintain the offensive position^ 
that the Episcopal Articles of Faith are 
grounded on the opinions of Calvin s but to 


pursue a conciliating course, by showing that 
the Reformers, who composed those Articles 
in the reign of Edward VI., and those who 
revised them under Elizabeth, were in agree- 
ment, on all the essential doctrines, w ith the 
system of Calvin and the word of God. 
. Having completed the translation of Cal- 
vin's Catechism, and casually opening the 
^d vol. of the Christian Observer, a work 
which you so highly appreciate, the extracts 
given of No well's Catechism, in that volume, 
arrested my attention, as bearing a singular 
resemblance to some questions and answers., 
which I had translated in Calvin's. This 
resemblance appeared more and more dis- 
tinct, as I rapidly traced through those ex- 
tracts. Observing a very strong verbal 
agreement, especially in those parts in which 
the questions and answers w ere given en- 
tire, I became desirous of obtaining a copy 
of Nowell's in the original latin, and also 
Norton's translation, mentioned by Wood 
in his Jlthenm Oxonienses. By professor 
Kingsley, with whose talents and literary 
acquirements I hope the public will be bet- 
ter acquainted at some future day, I was in- 
formed that both were named in the cat- 
alogue of the library of Harvard College* 
And by the civility of president Kirtland, 
I was favoured with the volume which con- 
fined the original latin of Dr. Nowell, with 
Thomas Norton's translation, printed page 
£or page in 1571. Upon a minute examina- 
k 2 


rion, I could not but notice the address, as it 
appeared to me. with which the thoughts and 
expressions were transcribed from Calvin's 
Catechism, into this, without any express 
avowal of the source from which they were 
so copiously derived. 

Li I observed that the order of the general 
Iheads of instruction was changed. In Cal- 
vin's the order is 1. Of Faith. % Of the 
Law. 3. Of Prayer. 4. Of the Word. 5. 
Of the Sacraments. In XowelPs the order 
is, 1. An Introduction about the Word. 
2, Of the Law. 3. Of Faith. 4. Of Prayer, 
5. Of the Sacraments. 

& The order of the question is varied. 

3. The sentences are often transposed. 
And while the thoughts are the same, the 
words in the latin are different : For exam- 
ple, Calvin says, under the tYinth Command- 
ment* •* Nam quod agere coram honunibus 
malum est, malum est coram Deo etiam velle " 
Nowel, under the Eighth Cnmmandment, 
,says, i% %A am quod agere hominibus inic/uum 
?si. id etiam velle coram Deo malum esf." — 
This is a specimen of numerous instances of 
words transposed and changed, and of sen- 
fences transferred, without any apparent 
reason? arising either from the improvement 
ef the latin, or the sentiment of Calvin. 

4. Nowel is entirely silent as to the or- 
ders of the Priesz-hood, and the ceremonies 
ef the Church, excepting some very modest 
-things about what, he says, their Church call 

Appendix. 113 

Confirmation, and the abuses of it by the 
Papists % and even in this, he appears to have 
verv closely followed Calvin in his Insti- 
tutes on that subject ; as he has also on the 
doctrine of original sin. On the doctrines 
of predestination, election, and reprobation, 
he has at least equalled any thing advanced 
in Calvin's Catechism. And in another in- 
stance he has surpassed every tiling said, or 
left to be inferred in that work, when he 
states, that ice should have a icillingness to 
lose our life, and finally our very soul for 
Christ's sake*. 

Such was the general result of the com- 
parison of the two Catechisms. But before 
I produce the proofs of the resemblance of 
NowelPs to Calvin's, I will give a concise 
account of the three Catechisms of the Eng- 
lish Church, the only ones I believe that, 
have ever been sanctioned in Convocations 
of the Bishops and Clergy. 

U The Catechism of Edward VI. 

The reformation commenced in the Eng- 
lish Church, in 1547, and Cranmer set forth 
the Homilies, 12 in number, In 1548, the 
Liturgy was compiled, by the care of Arch- 
bishop Cranmer, Somerset, Ridley, and Pe^ 
ter Martyr, and passed the house of Lords 
Jan. loth 1549. This first Liturgy contain- 
ed no Catechism of doctrinal instruction. 
In 1548, Calvin, in his letter to Somersjet, 

* Yitam denique animamque ipsam amittamns, po- 
Hus quam Christum, nostrumque in ilium amorem 
atque afficium tkferanim-^Qmst. 205, Noel. Cat 



the Protector, recommends, That a summa- 
ry of doctrines and a Catechism for the use 
of children be published. " It becomes you," 
he says, " to be fully persuaded, that the 
Church of God, cannot be built up without a 
Catechism." The Protector himself trans- 
lated this letter from the original French, 
and it was published in 1550.* The same 
year, the Articles of Faith were " set about," 
and completed in 1552. " As for the Cat- 
echism," Dr. Burnet says, " it was printed 
with a preface in the king's name, bearing- 
date the 24th of May, 1553, about seven 
weeks before his death : In which he sets 
forth that it was drawn by a pious and learn- 
ed man, supposed to be Bishop Poy^et, and 
was given to be revised by some Bishops and 
learned men."t Rector vStrype, in his An- 
nals, vol. 2. p. 368, is quite confident that 
king Edward's Catechism was written by 
Alexander No well. But his proof is not of 
much -weight; as it is more probable that 
Nci well followed Poynet in compiling his, 
in 15614 And this will better account for 

* See life of Calvin p. 336, and 333, where Calvin 
gives his approbation to the Homilies, the Apostles' 
Creed, Lord's Prayer, and Ten Commandments, as 
set forth by Cranmer, and published by Somerset, 
1547. Burnet vol. 2. p. 25.— And Wood's Athen. 
Oxon. vol. 1. fol. p. 72. A copy of the Protector's 
translation is in Harvard library, first Ed. 1550. 

f Hist. Reform, vol. 3. p 214. fol. 

I King Edward's Catechism appears to be pub- 
lished at large in the first vol. of the Christian Ob- 
server. . , • . • v., ' X , , : ; 



the " verbatim," resemblance between some 
of the questions and answers, in those two 

2. The catechism commonly called Di\ 

In Strype's life of Archbishop Parker, fol. 
p. 301, we have an account of Nowell's cat- 
echism. It was proposed, 1561, to be in 
Latin for the use of schools, that youth might 
be instructed in sound principles of religion, 
especially those of the gentry, and such 
as were designed for divinity. In 1562, 
No well laid one, before the Synod, of 
which he was prolocutor. In the Upper 
House, it was committed to four Bishops,* 
and after being corrected by them, it passed 
the review of both Houses* and had their full 
approbation A Newell then sent the Cate- 
chism to secretary Cecil, who returned it 
after about a year, with certain notes of 
some learned men upon it, which Nowell 
adopted. ^ So carefully" says the rector of 
Leyton, £ and exactly was it reviewed and 
corrected^ to make it a standing summary, 


Cecil, to whom it was first dedicated, did 
not direct its publication, it rested in Now- 

*Dr. Heylin says that Bishops Jewel, JBenthpm, 
fffley, and Davis, were the four who reviewed Now- 
ell's Catechism, February 25, 1562. Hist. Reform, 
p. 332. 

f See Burnet, vol. 3. p. 303. And Archbifhop 
Wake's sta.teof the church, fol. p. 692, 


ell's hands, five or six years, till Archbishop 
Parker obtained the secretary's consent that 
it might be published, and if he pleased it 
might be dedicated to. the Bishops. Accord- 
ingly, " It was printed by Reynold Wolf, 
the 16th of the Calends 'of July (that is the 
16th of June) 1570, and was dedicated un- 
to the Bishops because it was offered them 
seven years before in Convocation, and alloic- 
ed by them all, as above said." 

" This Catechism," adds the diligent and 
impartial Strype, " was printed again in the 
year 1572, and in greek and latin 1573, and 
so from time to time had many impressions,, 
and was used a long time in all schools, even 
to. our days," (that is, of Charles II.) " and 
pity it is, it is now so disused 9 " 

3. The Shorter Catechism. 

On the same page, viz. 301, Strype says, 

There wanted now nothing, but a shorter 
Catechism, for the use of the younger sort 
of scholars : which the Dean, (Nowell,) in 
his epistle to the Bishops, promised to draw 
up, contracting this larger one. And thus 
the Church was furnished, by the Archbish- 
op's furtherance and care, with this good 
and useful work." 

The following are the words to which 
Strype alludes, in Nowell 's dedicatory epis- 
tle to the Bishops in his larger Catechism : 
" Sed et ipsis brevitatis amatoribus statui 
morem gerere, eundemque hunc Catechis- 
mumedere exiguo 4ibello, quam ; potest fieri 



brevissime, ita arctatum, ut arc this fere, as - 
tringi non potent; in quo magna, parvis* 
longa brevibus, lata angustis, multa paucis, 
permutata reperient ; ut quibus hie liber, ut 
productione longior, non placebit, libellus 
ille, ut contractione brevior, non displiceat." 
For the benefit of those who are not versed 
in the latin language, I will give this some- 
what quaint sentence, in English. " I have 
determined to humour the lovers of brevity, 
and to give the same Catechism in a small 
book, contracted with the utmost possible 
conciseness ; in which they will find great 
things exchanged for small, long for short, 
wide for narrow, and many for few ; so that 
those who are not pleased with this book on 
account of its length, may not be displeased 
with that on account of its shortness. 5 ' 

Wood, in his Athena?. Oxonienses, art. 
A. No-well. vol. 1. p. 272. fol. names both 
No well's Catechisms : " 1. Catechisiuus sive 
primU institution disciplinaque pietatis Chris- 
Harife, Latins explicata. Lond. 1570. quarto 
translated into English by T 1 omas Norton** 
Loud, 1571." '''2. Catechismus parvis pu- 
pjis priimim qui ediscatur proponendus in 
JScholis. Lond. 1574 octavo." This is the 
short Catechism of the prayer book contract- 
ed frotri Nowell's first or larger one. 

The Epistle or dedication to the Arch- 
bishops, Parker and Grindal, in the latin 
copy of Dean Nowell's large Catechism, 
^Oiitains some things worthy of notice ; and 



from it, tlie following sentences are selected 
and translated. 

" In this Catechism, I have also given dil- 
igence and care, that the sound integrity of 
the latin language should, as much as possi- 
ble, be every where preserved: That our 
youth, with one and the same labour, might 
be able to learn piety and latinity together. 
For which purpose, I have transplanted and 
inserted in this Catechism, the most select 
ornaments, of words and sentences, gather- 
ed from every quarter, chiefly from the gar- 
dens of Cicero, maxims ex Ciceronis hor- 
tidis* distinguishing and illuminating the dis- 
course with them, as with certain stars." 

I am, I confess, Sir, somewhat at a loss for 
a reason, why the heathen orator is thus dis- 
tinguishedj in the preface to a Christian 
Catechism ; and the more so, as the French 
Reformer, from whose pure and classick lat- 
in, Dr. Now ell has borrowed so much, verba- 
tim, is passed entirely without notice. — 
** But since, in almost all Catechisms," con- 
tinues the Dean, " those heads of the Chris- 
tian religion are explained, which are con- 
tained in the Creed of the Apostles, the 
Decalogue, and the Lord's prayer, there is 
not in them, nor can there be, any great 
variety in the method of handling them. — - 
To institute therefore another order, which 
is not already occupied by some other, is 
not possible for any one, unless he would 
invert all order. These things I judged 


proper to relate in this place, that I might 
not be considered wanting to those, who 
might complain that I had delivered, in this 
Catechism, the same things, and also many 
things in the same order, in which they have 
been before written at large by some others." 
This acknowledgement of Dr. Now ell, so 
far as it goes, is w ell ; but it may be asked, 
did not the usage of authors require him, to 
name the writers, or credit the works from 
which he so freely transcribed ? Theodore 
Beza, in a similar case, and about the same 
period, was very explicit. In his epistle to 
his aged instructor, Melchior TVolmar, pre- 
fixed to his elaborate confession of Faith, 
with scripture proofs, he candidly acknowl- 
edged his obligation to Calvin. " These 
things," he says, M I confess have been well 
illustrated by others in this age, and princi- 
pally, (I speak as the fact is, although the 
envious should carp,) by the great John 
Calvin, who has most accurately handled 
all these matters, very copiously in his In- 
stitutes, and more briefly in his Catechism 
of the Church, from which hooks also I con- 
fess, I have taken these things.* It will be 
readily conceded, that Dr. Nowell was not 
personally reponsible, for any thing advan- 
ced or omitted in this Catechism, as it be- 
came the work of the Convocation, by their 
correction and adoption of it ; and as it was 

* Beza's, Theolo<r. Tract. 1560. 


also sanctioned by the Queeirs injunction*, 
it was enforced as the public Catechism of 
the Church* 

The omission of the Convocation, or of the 
Bishops, to mention Calvin, by name, as a- 
writer from whom they had taken many 
things, of itself was doubtless at that time a 
matter of little moment : and must have 
been so considered by Calvin and Ins friends. 
And the enquiry into the reasons of it, at 
this time, becomes expedient, merely from 
the circumstance, that numerous writers, 
and among them some of the dignitaries of 
1 he Church, have laboured to prove that the- 
English Reformers were hostile towards 
Calvin; and that their confession of Faith, 
and the Catechism in question, were oppos- 
ed to his theological works and opinions. 

That no such opposition existed, but that 
an entire harmony prevailed between those 
venerable Reformers, and that pre-eminent 
minister of Christ, is beyond question evin- 
ced from the Catechism itself, which rttns 
parallel with his, and scarcely varies from 
it, except in a more diffusive illustration oi 
the doetrinal points. It is an incontrovert- 
ible fact, that at that very time, and for 
about fifty years after, to the Arch-prelacy 
of William Laud, the Institutes of Calvii - 
were publicly read and studied vi both Uni- 
versities* by every student in divinity. Am, 
the Pope, in his Bull, excommunicating and 
deposing the Queen, m.l alleges agaiifs 


her this offensive charge, " that she received 
herself and enjoined upon her subjects, the 
impious sacraments and Institutes according 
to Calvin." Every historical fact, that has 
fallen under my observation, enforces upon 
my mind the conviction, that the doctrinal 
system of Calvin, in 1562. and in 1570, was 
cordially received by the Bishops of the Eng- 
lish Church. In proof of this, not to rest on 
the circumstance, that Archbishop Parker 
presented to the University of Cambridge, 
the Institutes, Commentaries, and other icrii- 
ings of Calvin, I may adduce the following- 
paragraph of the xvii. Article of Faith, as 
being very closely copied from Calvin's In- 
stitutes : 66 Furthermore, we must receive 
God's promises in such wise, as they be gen- 
erally set forth to us in holy scripture ; 
and in our doings, that will of God is to be 
followed, which we have expressly declared 
unto us in the word of God."* — For this fact 
and the references, I am indebted to the 
Christian Observer, from which very candid 
and evangelical work, I beg leave to give the 
following statement :f That Dr. Randolph, 
Bishop of Oxford, a few years before re-pub- 
lished, <• The whole of king Edward's Cate- 
chism, the declaration of doctrines in Jew- 
ell's apology, and the Catechism commonly 
called Dr Nowell's, in a collection of tracts 

* Cal. Instil Lib. 3 chap. 24. §. 5. et Lib. 1. chap. 
87. §. 5., and Christ- an Observer, vol. 3. p. 433. 
f Christian Obser. YoL t p. 9. 10. for 1802. 



for the use of students in divinity/'* The 
learned editors of the Observer then say, 
That they shall re-publish these " three 
works, which will most clearly define the 


necessart sro Salvation ; and by which 
sense ice wish our own sentiments to be w? 

It will, I apprehend, Sir, be conceded* 
without the least restriction, that Bishop 
Jewell was the most learned and influential 
divine among the dignitaries of his day ; 
and that his writings were the standard of 
orthodoxy in the English Church. He was 
the scholar and companion of Peter Martyr, 
In his exile he drank long and deep, at the 
theological fountains of Switzerland, Germa- 
ny, and Geneva 5 and Lawrence Humphrey^ 
in his life of this great man, states as an in- 
stance, of his uncommon powers of memory, 
" That he knew Calvin's Institutes as well as 
he knew his own fingers ; quas, tanquam 
digitos suos probe noverat;"* and, that he 
very much recommended that work to his 
friends. Bishop Jewell himself gives the 
most decided testimony of his very high es- 
timation of Calvin, in his defence of his 
Apology, against the papist Harding, who 
called him a disciple of Calvin. Jewell does 
not deny the charge, but says, " Touching 
Mr. Calvin, it is great wrong untruly to 
report so great a father, and so worthy cat- 

* Vita Jewellip. 236. Ed. UTS 



ovnunieut of the Church of God, If you 
had ever known the order of the Church of 
Geneva, and had seen four thousand people 
or more receiving the holy mysteries to- 
gether at one communion, ye would not, 
without your great shame and want of mod- 
esty, thus untruly have published to the 
world, that by Mr. Calvin's doctrine the 
sacraments of Christ are superfluous,"* 

To bring the evidence on this part of the 
subject to a close, I will quote from Hum- 
phrey's life of Jewell, what I consider as 
conclusive testimony, to prove the agreement 
on the essential doctrines of the Gospel 
among all the reformed and protestant 
Churohes. For the sake of brevity, I will 
omit the latin and give it in a translation. — 
u In 1562, was published the Apology of the 
English Church, which was approved by the 
consent and authority of the Queen, publish- 
ed by the counsel of ail the Bishops and oth- 
er Clergy, as it was also composed and writ r 
ten by the author, as the public confession of 
the Catholick and Christian Faith of the 
English Church, in which is taught our 
agreement, with the Ge RMANj HeLVETICK* 
French^ Scotch, Genevese and other- 
pure Churches. 

* Je welli's defence of his Apology published 1564 
See Christian Observer, vol. 3. p. 629. 

-j- Calvin drew up the confession of the French 
Churches — Vide Harm. Confess. CataL Confess-. 

£ Vita Jewelli, p. 177. 

L 3 


Now, Sir, that which consummates this ar- 
gument, is the fact, that JeweWs Apology* the 
Thirty nine Articles, and JSToweWs Catechism * 
were all passed and sanctioned by the same 
venerable Convocation, in 1562. They were 
all designed alike to support one cause, and to 
establish and perpetuate the same doctrines : 
and of course they must be in agreement 
among themselves. Bishop JeweWs Apol- 
ogy* was designed as the defensive armour 
of the Church, against the calumnies of the 
Papists ; the Articles* to preserve her internal 
union in doctrines and worship; and the 
Catechism* to imbue the minds of youths, 
with pure principles, which was by no means 
the least important concern of the Reform- 
ers. If, therefore, Dr. NowelPs Cateehisrr* 
agrees in word and doctrine with Calving 
it, " the very same thivgs* and also many 
things in the same order^ are taught in this* 

* In Jewell's Apology, if my memorandum is cor 
yect, is the following 1 sentence : " Those very per- 
sons, whom they (the Papists) contumaciously re* 
proach by the appellation of Lutherans and 'faring* 
tians, are Christians^ and friends to each other, and 
brethren, and do not disagree in the principles and 
fundamentals of our religion, neither* concerning 
God, nor Christ, nor the Holy Ghost, nor concern* 
ing the method of justification, nor concerning" eter- 
nal life, but only about a single point of no great mo - 
ment. 53 Strype, in his life of Grindal, quotes, at p 
112, Beza's letter, which states that in 1565, the 
Churches of France and Geneva, together with all 
those of Helvetia, subscribed the same confess to, 

dppendU". 1ST 

as were before taught at large by him, it will 
follow, as a legitimate conclusion, from 
this agreement, that the Convocation did not 
omit to name Calvin in the preface, through 
prejudice against the man, or hostility to his 
system of opinions. 

Without entering into much detail, I 
mffl offer a reason, which, in my opinion, 
is more consistent with the state and temper 
of those times. It is well known that the 
disputes, in the reign of Elizabeth, on relig- 
ious subjects, were limited, as to the Beform- 
ers, almost exclusively to the rites and cere* 
monies of the Church. In these disputes, 
policy and principle, doubtless, had their 
proportionate share of influence- Although 
the Queen was at heart a Protestant, she, 
still, evidently retained strong impressions 
in favour of the old rites and popish parade 
of her father ; and it is probable, that the 
supreme object of her concern, in her high 
minded political course, w as the heirship of 
her crown, and the security of her person. 
• ; She was crowned," says Dr. Heylin, " ac- 
cording to the order of the Roman Pontiff 
ml ; which had much in it of the ceremonies 
and superstitions of that Church."* On the 
friends of the reformation she conferred offi- 
ces and personal favours, and animated their 
hopes of her patronage. To allay the jeal- 
ousies of the Papists, the persons who were 

* Dr. Heylin's Hist. Reform, p. 278. See a&© 
"Burnet's Hist, of his cto times, vol. 4. p. 41-3% 

128 Appendix. 

appointed to revise the Liturgy, took nmch 
care for expunging all such passages in it 
as might give any scandal or offence to the 
popish party." So that the prayer, inserted 
in the Liturgy by Henry VIII.. and retained 
by Edward VI.. « To be delivered from the 
tyranny and all the detestable enormities of 
the Bishop of Rome" was expunged. They 
altered the form of benediction in delivering 
the sacrament, so as not to be thought to 
exclude the idea of the real presence, and 
expunged a whole rubrick. explaining the 
purpose of kneeling at the sacrament, as not 
giving any adoration to the bread and wine 
as the real body and blood of Christ. And 
that Historian, who. on some subjects, is as 
anxious to tell the whole truth, as lie is on 
others to miscolour or suppress it. adds. 

And to come up closer, to those of the 
Church of Borne, it was ordered, by the 
Queen's injunctions, that the sacramental 
bread should be made round, in fashion of 
rhe wafers, used in the time of Queen Mary. 
She also ordered, that the Lord's table 
should be placed where the altar stood, that 
rhe accustomed reverence should be made 
at the name of Jesus, music retained in the 
Church, and ail the old festivals observed 
with their several eves. By which compli- 
ances, the book was made so passable 
amongst the Papists, that for ten years theif 
generally repaired to the parish Churches 
itirhmft dnilot or scruple*" 


Although the Pope had denied the right 
of succession to Elizabeth, and rigorously re- 
jected the proposal to legitimate her birth as 
the daughter of Anne Boleyn, yet it appears 
that the Papists generally frequented the 
Churches, until Pius V. excommunicated 
and deposed her, in 1569. The state of 
things at this time was very alarming to the 
protectant cause. A combination was form- 
ed by the Romish influence, to place Mary, 
queen of Scots, on the throne of England. 
Books were written to support her title, and 
insurrections made to secure its possession. 
Amidst these agitations, secretary Cecil 
consented, at the Archbishop's request, to 
the publication of the Catechism, which 
probably had been permitted to rest, out 
of respect to the Papists, who were a large 
body in the kingdom. While Elizabeth thus 
gratified the Reformers, she was no less 
anxious to conciliate the Papists in her own 
dominion. And from this consideration it 
was doubtless judged expedient, not to men- 
tion expressly the name or the Catechism of 
Calvin, in the preface to NowelPs.* For of 

* Humphrey, in his life of Jewell. Ed. 1573 at p. 
266, when noticing the happy deaths of the Reform- 
ers, enquires " What shall I say of the happy" 
death of Calvin of Geneva, whom the Papists dailjj 
so impudently attach with their reproaches? When 
afflicted with disease, did he not preach Jesus 
Christ, with an elevated soul ? And does he not 
Still preach him as from the tomb ? Do not 
books still speak I s5 



all men. be was the most hated and reproach 
ed by the Papists, as the man. who. by his 
talents, learning, and labours, had done more, 
than almost all others, to forward and es- 
tablish the reformation, and to destroy, ^ the 
tyranny and detestable enormities of the 
Church of Rome " 
" Magna est Veritas et yrevaletP 
I will now, Sir, proceed to extract from 
Dr. NowelPs Catechism some questions and 
answers as a specimen, of what might be 
done most extensively, to show the resem- 
blance between this and Calvin's. 

I shall use Norton ? s translation, made in 
1571. And in the selection, I shall prefer 
doctrinal questions, although others might 
show the verbal resemblance in a more im- 
pressive manner. I shall also follow the 
order of Nowell, and refer to the questions 
as they are numbered in the foregoing trans- 

Selection of Questions and Answers, &'c. 



14 Master. SHALL we then have suf- 
ficiently discharged our duties, if we so en- 
deavour ourselves, that we hear and under- 
stand the word of God ; 



Scholar. No, for we must not only hear 
and understand the word of God, but also 
with stedfast assent of mind embrace it, as 
the truth of God descended from heaven, 
and heartily love it, yield ourselves to it, 
desirous and apt to learn, and to frame our 
minds to obey it, that being once planted in 
our hearts, it may take deep root therein, 
and bring forth the fruits of a godly life, or- 
dered according to the rule thereof, that so 
it may turn to our salvation, as it is ordain- 
ed. It is therefore certain that we must^ 
w ith all our travail, endeavour, that in read- 
ing it, in studying upon it, and in hearing it, 
both privately and publickly, we may profit. 
—In Calvin Quest. 302—304. 


-28 M. But whereas he speaketh of Isra- 
el by name, and maketh expressly mention 
of Breaking the yoke of the bondage of 
Egypt; doth not this belong only to the 
people of Israel ? 

S. God indeed rescued the Israelites, 
by his servant Moses, from bodily bondage,, 
but he hath delivered all them thai he hi^ 
by his Son Jesus Christ, from the spiritual 
thraldom of sin, and the tyranny of the 
devil, wherein else they had lain Dressed 
and oppressed. This kind of deliverance 
pertaineth indifferently to all men, which 
- m t their trust in God their deliverer, and 


do to their power obey his laws. Which 
if they do not, he doth by this rehearsal of 
his most great benefit, pronounce that they 
shall be guilty of most great unthankfulness. 
— Cal. Q. 138. 139. 

40 M. What manner of worshipping is 
that which is here condemned ? 

S. When we intending to pray do turn 
eurseives to portraitures or images; when, 
we do fall down and kneel before them, with 
uncovering our heads, or with, other signs 
shewing any honour unto them, as if God 
were represented unto us by them. Briefly 
we are in this law forbidden that we neither 
seek nor worship God in images, or which, 
is all one, that we worship not the images 
themselves in honour of God, nor in any 
wise by idolatry or superstition, abuse them 
with injury to his Majesty. Otherwise the 
lawful use of making portraitures and of 
painting is not forbidden, — Cal. Q- 147, 148. 

46 M- But how doth this agree with the 
righteousness of God, that any one should be 
punished for another's offence ? 

S. The very state of mankind doth suffi- 
ciently assoifle this question. For by nature 
ice are all subject to damnation., in which 
state if God do leave us* ive have no cause to 
complain of him. And as tbwartl the godhv 
he sheweth his love and mercy, in defending 
and cherishing their pfciterity, with giving 
them their preservation, which he oweth 
them not. so toward the nnspdlv he execu N 



tetk his vengeance in withholding that his 
goodness from their children, and yet in the 
mean time he doth them no icrong* in that 
he giveth them not the grace which he oivetii 
them not, but as he found them so he ieaveth 
them to their own disposition and nature. — 
Cal. Q. 154. 

49 M. But it appeareth that this is not 
continually certain, but godly parents beget 
ungodly children &c. 

S. This indeed cannot be denied ; for as 
God, when he will, sheweth himself merciful 
to the children of the wicked ; so he is by 
no such necessity bounden to the children 
of the godly, but that he is at liberty to re- 
ject such of them as he will. But therein 
he always useth such moderation, that the 
truth of his promise ever remaineth stedfast. 
—Cal. Q. 15f. 

55 ML Is there any lawful. using of the 
name of God in swearing ? 

S. Yea, forsooth. "When an oath is take i i 
for a just cause | either to affirm a truth, 
specially if the magistrate require or com- 
mand it; or for any other matter of greal 
importance, wherein we are either to main- 
tain inviolate the honour of God, or to pre- 
serve mutual agreement and charity among 
men.— Cal. Q. 161. 

63 M. Sayest thou then that we mus; 
every seventh day abstain from all labour : 
' S. This commandment hath a double con 
sideration. For in so much as it contained 



a ceremony and requireth only outward rest* 
it belonged peculiarly to the Jews, and hath 
not the force of a continuing and eternal law. 
But now by the coming of Christ, as the 
other shadows of Jewish ceremonies are ab- 
rogate, so is this law also, in this behalf 
abridged.— Cal. Q. 168, 169. 

64 M. What then besides the ceremony 
is there remaining whereimto we are still 
perpetually bound ? 

S. This law was ordained for three 
causes : First, to establish and maintain 
ecclesiastical discipline and a certain order 
of the Christian's common weal. Second, 
to provide for the state of servants, that it 
be made tolerable. Thirdly, to express a 
certain form and figure of the spiritual rest. 
—Cal. Q. 170. 171. 

88 M. Thinkest thou there is any more 
to be said of this commandment ? 

S. Yea, forsooth. For not only outward 
thefts and frauds are forbidden, and we are 
commanded to use bargaining without guiles 
and deceits, and to do all things else with- 
out subtle undermining, but also we are 
charged to be altogether so minded, that 
though we were sure to escape unpunished 
and unespied ; yet we should of ourselves 
forbear from wrong. For that which is 
wrong before men to rfo, is evil before God 
to have will to do. Therefore, all counsels 
and devices, and especially the very desire 
to make our gain of other's loss, is forbidden 



by this law. Finally, we are by this law com- 
manded to endeavour all the ways we may 
that every man may most speedily come to 
his own, and safely keep that which he pos- 
sessed.— Cal. Q. 205, 206, 207, and 211. 

108 Mi Dost thou then think them to be 
justified that do in all things obey the law of 
God ? 

S. Yea, surely ; if any were able to per- 
form it, they should be justified by the law, 
but we are all of such weakness, that no man 
in all points fulfilleth his duty. For though 
we put the case, that there be one found 
that performeth the law in some point, yet 
shall he not thereby be justified before God : 
for he pronounceth them all to be accursed 
and abominable that do not fulfil all things 
that are contained in the law. — Cal. Q. 224, 

110 M. Why then did God make such 
a law as requireth a perfection above our 
ability ? 

S. In making the law, God respected 
not so much what we were able to perform, 
which by our own fault are very weak, as 
what was meet for his own righteousness. — 
Moreover the law requireth nothing of us, 
but that which we are bound to perform. 
But since we are far from due obeying the 
law, men can have no sufficient or lawful 
excuse to defend themselves before God : 
and so the law accuseth all men for guilty, 
yea and condemneth them before the judg 


in ent seat of God: -and. that is the cause, 
why Paul calleth the law the ministry of 
death and damnation. — Cal. Q. 225, 227. 

111 M.' Does the law set all men in this 
most remediless estate ? 

S. The unbelieving and the ungodly, the 
law doth both set and leave in such case as I 
have spoken, who, as they are not able to 
fulfil the least iota of the law, so have they 
no affiance at ail in God through Christ ; but 
among the godly the law hath other uses.— 
Cal. Q. 226, 227. 

112 M. What uses? 

S. First ; the law, requiring so precise 
perfectness of life, doth shew to the godly, 
as it were a mark for them to level at, and a 
goal to run unto, that daily profiting, they 
may with earnest endeavour travel towards 
the highest uprightness. Secondly $ where- 
as the law requireth things far above man's 
power, and when they find themselves too 
%veak for so great a burden, the law doth 
i*aise them up to crave strength at the Lord's 
hand. Moreover, when the law doth con- 
tinually accuse them, it striketh their heart 
with a wholesome sorrow, and driveth them 
to the repentance that I spake of, and to beg 
and obtain pardon of God through Christ, 
and there withall restraineth them, that they 
trust not upon their own innocency, or pre 
sume to be proud in the sight of God, and is 
al way to them as a bridle to withhold them in 
the fear of God* Finally, when beholding 



by the law, as it were in a glass, the spots 
and uncleanness of their souls, &c. — Cal« 
Q. 228, 229. 


126 M. Since there is but one God, tell 
me why, in the confession of the christian faith, 
thou rehearsest three. The Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Ghost ? 

S. These be not the names of sundry 
C*ods, but of three distinct Persons in one 
Godhead. For in one substance of God, we 
must consider the Father, which of himself 
begat the Son even from eternity, the begin- 
ning and first author of all things : The Son 
even trom eternity, begotten of the Father, 
which is the eternal wisdom of the Father : 
The Holy Ghost, proceeding from them both, 
as the power of God spread abroad through 
all things, but yet so that, it also continually 
abideth in itself : and yet that God is not 
therefore divided.— Cal Q. 19, 20. 

129 M. Dost thou then make ungodly 
men also and wicked spirits subject to the 
power of God ? 

S. Why not, for else were we in most 
miserable case, for that we should never be 
out of fear, if they might have any power 
over us, without the will of God. But God 
as it were, by the bridle of his power, so re- 
strained them that they cannot once stir but 
at his beck and sufferance, And we for our 
M 2 

parts are uphoiden with this comfort, thai 
we are so in the power of our almighty Fa- 
ther, that not so much as one hair of ours can 
perish, hut by his will that beareth us so 
good will.— CaL Q. £8, 29. 

133 M. Did God think it enough to have 
once created all tilings, and then to cast 
away all further care of them ? 

S. Whereas it is much more excellent to 
maintain and preserve things created, than 
to have once created them, we must certain- 
ly believe, that when he had so framed the 
Tvorld, and all creatures* he from thenceforth 
hath preserved and yet preserveth them 
For all tilings would run to ruin and fall u> 
nothing, unless by his virtue, and as it were 
by iris hand, thej were upholden. We also 
assuredly believe, that the whole order of 
nature, and changes of things, which are 
falsely reputed the alterations of fortune, do 
hang all upon God : That God guideth the 
course of the heaven, upholdeth the earth* 
tempereth the seas, and ruleth the. world ; 
and that all things obey his divine power, and 
by his divine power all things are governed: 
That he is the author of fair weather, and of 
tempest, of rain and of drouth, of fruitfulness 
anil of barrenness, of health and of sickness : 
That ail things that belong to the sustenta- 
tion and preserving of our life, and which 
are desired either for necessary use or 
honest pleasure ; finally of all things that na- 
ture needeth. he hath ever riven and vet 


iBOst largely giveth abundance and plenty 
with most liberal hand, to this end verily 
that we should use them, as becometh mind- 
ful and kind children.— Cal. Q. 27. 

142 M. But how can it seem but un- 
righteousness, that for the parents' fault all 
the posterity should be deprived of sove- 
reign felicity, and burdened with extreme 
miseries and evils ? 

S. Adam was the first parent of mankinds 
Therefore God endued him with those orna- 
ments, to have them or lose them for him and 
his, that is, for all mankind. So soon as he 
was therefore spoiled of them his whole na- 
ture was left naked, in penury, and destitute 
of all good things. So soon as he was defil- 
ed with that spot of sin, out of the root and 
stock corrupted, there sprung forth corrup- 
ted branches, that conveyed also their cor- 
ruption into the other twigs springing out of 
them. Thence it came, that so short, small 
and uncertain race of life, is limited unto us. 
Thence came the infirmity of our flesh, the 
feebleness of our bodies, the weakness and 
frailness of mankind. Thence came the hor- 
rible blindness of our minds and perverse - 
ness of our hearts. Thence came that crook- 
edness and corruptness of all our affections 
and desires. Thence came that seed-plot, 
and as it were sink of all sins, with the faults 
whereof mankind is infected and tormented 3 
of whim evil'., learned Christians, that have 


sought the proper and true name, have call- 
ed it Original Sin.*— Cal. Q. 57,-59. 

156 M. What fruit take we of this king- 
dom ? 

S. It furnishes us with strength and spir- 
itual armour, to vanquish the flesh, the 
-world, sin, and the devil, the outrageous and 
deadly enemies of our souls ; it giveth us 
blessed freedom of consciences ; hnally, it 
endoweth us with heavenly riches, and com- 
forteth and strengthened us to live godlily 
and holily.— Cal. Q. 42. 

161 M. But since this honour is given 
to all the godly, to be called the children of 
God ; how dost thou call Christ the only 
Son of God ? 

S. God is the natural Father of Christ 
alone, and Christ alone is the natural Son of 
God, being begotten of the substance of the 
Father, and being of one substance with the 
Father: But us hath God freely through 
Christ made and adopted his children.-— 
Therefore we rightly acknowledge Christ, 

* la Calvin's Catechism there is no particular 
definition of Original Sin ; yet the doctrine is inter- 
woven in every part, is often expressed, and always 
implied — See questions 115 — 122, et passim. But 
the above answer is selected from Calvirf s Institutes, 
Book 2. ch. 1. 5, 6, 7, 8. almost verbatim. — And 
this appears to be the fact in many instances, where 
Dr. No well enlarges upon the answers* of his Cate- 
chism. The above answer is quoted for the purpose 
of shewing that the English Reformers agreed with 
Calvin on the fundamental point of Original Sin, 



the only Son of God, since this honour is by 
his own most just right due unto him : Yet 
the name of children by right of adoption is 
also freely imparted to us through Christ.*— 
Cal. Q, 46, 47. 

181 M. Hast thou any thing more to say 
of the death of Christ ? 

S. That Christ suffered not only a com- 
mon death in the sight of men, but also was 
touched with the horrors of eternal death : 
tie fought and wrestled, as it were hand to 
hand, with the w r hole army of hell : Before 
the judgment-seat of God he put himself un- 
der the heavy judgment and grievous severity 
of God's punishment He was driven into 
most hard distress : He for us suffered and 
went through horrible fears, and most bitter 
griefs of mind, to satisfy God's just judg- 
ment in all things and to appease his wrath. 
For to sinners whose person Christ did here 
bear, not only the sorrows and pains of pres- 
ent death are due, but also of death to ceme 
and everlasting. So when he did take upon 
and bear both the guiltiness and just judg- 
ment of mankind, which was undone and 
already condemned, he was tormented with 
so great trouble and sorrow of mind, that 
he cried out, my god, my god, why hast 
thou forsaken me ! — Cal. Q. 65, 66, 67* 
69, See Cal. Intsitutes Book 2. ch. 16. §[ 
10, 11, 12. from which some of the above 
sentences are literally selected. 

183 M. But how could Christ, being God. 

142 Appendix. 

have so great sorrow of mind and fearful- 

ness i 

S. This came to pass, according to the 
state of his human nature, his Godhead, in 
the mean time, not putting forth the force of 
his power. — Cal. Q. 68. 

184 M. Now rehearse to me briefly — 
those great benefits which the faithful re- 
ceive of the death of Christ and his most 
grievous pain ? 

S. Briefly, with the one only sacrifice of 
his death, he satisfied for our sins before 
God, and appeasing the wrath of God made 
us at one with him : With his blood, as with 
a most pure washing, he hath washed and 
cleansed away all the filth, and spots of our 
souls, and defacing with everlasting forgetful- 
'ness the memory of our sins, that tliey shall no 
nnore come in the sight of God, he hath 
cancelled, made void, and done away the 
hand writing whereby we were bound and 
convicted, and also the decree by the sen- 
tence whereof we were condemned. — Cal. 
Q. 71, and 60. 

186 M. What meaneth that which fol- 
loweth of descending to hell ? 

S. That as Christ in his -body descend- 
ed into the bowels of the earth, so his soul 
severed from the body, he descended into 
hell; and that therewith also the virtue and 
efficacy of his death so pier ced through to the 
dead, and to very hell itself, that both the 
souls of the unbelieving, felt their most pain* 



M and just damnation for infidelity ; and 
Satan himself, the Prince of hell, felt that 
all the power of his tyranny and darkness 
was weakened, yanquished, and fallen to 
ruin ; on the other side, the dead, which, 
while they lived believed in Christ, under- 
stood that the work of their redemption was 
now finished, and understood and perceived 
the effect and strength thereof with most 
sweet and assured comfort. — See Calvin's In- 
stitutes Book 2. Ch. 16. §. 9. The following 
sentences are given in Norton's translation. 
" I do indeed willingly confess, that Christ 
shined to them, (that is as he said before) to 
the souls of the Fathers that died in the time, 
of the law, by the power of his spirit, that 
they might know, that the grace which they 
had only tasted of by hope, was then delivered 
to the world. — For that the force of Christ's 
death pierced even to the dead, when the 
godly souls enjoyed the present sight of that; 
visitation, which they had carefully looked 
for : On the other side it did more plainly 
appear to the reprobate that they were ex- 
cluded from all salvation."* 

* Upon this subject some difference of opinion 
has been supposed to exist between Calvin and the 
English Reformers. But by comparing what Cal- 
vin has said in his Institutes and commentaries with 
this Catechism, the difference is more in appearance, 
than in reality. Both agree that Christ finished on 
the Cross the travail of his son!, which he suffered 
whpn it "zi'/ts many an offering for sin, Cklvin adwvfc 



212 Mi Why is he (the Spirit) called 
holy ? 

S, Not only for his own holiness, which 

of no local descent of his soul into hell, as wa^> 
strenuous ly taught by the Papists. And the indefi- 
nite words in which, those who revised the Articles 
in 1562, left the 3d on this point, discovers a dispo- 
sition to conciliate the Papists, without sanctioning 
then* error, or giving offence to those who rejected 
the opinion of the Romish Church. Calvin discov- 
ers the same spirit of accommodation, by admitting 
that clause of the Creed, and then giving his own 
exposition of it,' which he considered to be full of 
singular comfort to the godly. The Catechism oi 
Xowell attributes the same virtue and efficacy, in 
almost the same words, to the death of Christ upon 
the invisible world, as Calvin admits ; a power and 
efficacy that pierced through to the abodes of the 
dead, both of the godly and the reprobate. The 
English Reformers, in revising the 42 Articles of Ed- 
ward VI. omitted the last clause of the 3d Article, 
which affirmed ; That, " his body lay in the grave 
till his resurrection, but his soul 5 being separate from 
his body, remained ivith the spirits which were detain- 
ed in prison, that is to say in hell, and there preach- 
ed unto theih as witnesseth that place of Peter." — 
Burnet's Hist. Reform, vol. 2. Coll. p. 191. If the 
Convocation, who rejected this clause of the 3d Ar- 
ticle in 1562, had believed on this point as those did 
who first adopted the Articles in 1552, they would 
not have left it in these words, viz. " As Christ died 
for us and was buried, so is it to be believed, that tie 
-cent down into hell.' 9 Nor would this Catechism v 
sanctioned by the same body at the same time, have 
given that explanation about the virtue and efficacy 
of his death piercing through to the dead. In 1551* 
Calvin dedicated his Commentaries, on the Calholiek- 



yet is the highest holiness, but also for that 
Wjiim, the Elect of God and the members of 
Christ are made holy. For which cause the 

Epistles to king Edward. In his exposition of 1 Pet. 
iii. 19, he rejected that which asserted tins last as 
proof of the local descent of Christ into hell. Wheth- 
er his arguments against that exposition had any in- 
fluence to produce the exclusion of that clause from 
the 3d Article, or not ; one thing is evident, that 
in rejecting it, they prove that, as to that text, they 
were agreed in opinion with Calvin. And their ex- 
position in the Catechism, of the descent of Christ's 
soul into hell, discovers very well what they did be- 
lieve on that subject. Calvin, in his commentaries 
on Luke xxhi. 43, 46. says, that Christ, having fin- 
ished his sufferings with his last cry on the cross, 
commended his soul into the hands of his Father, 
passed into the invisible receptacle of the faithful, to 
the Paradise, in which on the cross, he assured the 
penitent, he should on that very day be with him. 
The exposition of Bishop Burnet on this Article, or 
clause of the Creed, asserts that the descent of 
Chris fs sovl into hell, means no more than that his 
.soul separated from the body passed to the invisible 
regions of departed spirits, among whom it contin- 
ued till his resurrection. If the evangelical temper 
of conciliation and love to the cause of Christ, which 
prevailed between the English Reformers and Cal- 
vin were now cherished, the shades of difference in 
explaining this unapostolick clause of the Creed, 
would excite no hostile spirit, among those who 
measure their faith by the confessions of those 
men, since they were agreed, as to the time, the de- 
gree and the end of Christ's sufferings on the cross, 
and his immediate entrance into the world of 
blessed spirits. 
However nnnleasant, it mar be useful to notke, 



holy scriptures have called him the Spirit ci 
saiictification,— Cal. Q. 89,-91. 

£14 M. Now remaineth the fourth part 5 . 

the following sentence in a posthumous sermon of 
Bishop Horsley, on 1 Pet. hi. 18, 19, 20. " The 
interpretation, .which Lhave given," says this learned 
Frelate, " is the only literal interpretation, which the 
words will bear, unless we would admit the extrava- 
gant assertion, as to me it seems, of the venerable Cal- 
vin that our blessed Lord actually wext dows to 
the place of tormext, and there sustained (horrible 
to think or mention !) the pains of a reprobate soul in 
punishment." No reference points out the volume, 
page, or sentence, where this horrible assertion is made 
by tlie venerable Calvin. But while it bespeaks the 
candour of every reader for the departed Prelate, it 
speaks in a strong admonitory voice to the editor, 
who lias introduced his venerable father, before the 
public not merely uttering that as the assertion of 
Calvin, which is horrible to think, or mention ! but, 
also, the most dictatorial, personal abuse of him, as 
a commentator, in his sermons on the 45th Psalm ; 
and moreover in his sermons on the Sabbath, charg- 
ing him with drawing a conclusion " rashly fol- 
lowed by other considerable men," while unfortu- 
nately for the Bishop, Calvin maintains the very 
opinion for which he contends ; that the sanctifica- 
lion of the seventh day, is not an indispensable duty 
in the Christian Church — that this was done away 
in Christ, and that the first day, is the Christian 
Sabbath. As to the extravagant assertion of Qal- 
vin, Dr. Heylix, with all his rampancy of popish 
bitterness, may be introduced to set Bishop Hors? 
xey right on that point He says, ef Calvin under- 
stands by Christ's descending into hell, that he suf- 
fered in his soid, both in the garden of Gethsemane, 
md upon the, cross, all the. , torments of hell, even to. 



of the holy Catholick Church, of the which I 
would hear what thou thickest ? 

S. Before the Lord God made heaven 
and earth, he determined to have to himself 
a most beautiful kingdom, and most holy 
commonweal. — This the Apostles that wrote 
in Greek called Ecclesia, which by inter- 
preting the word, may fitly he called a Con- 
gregation. They that be stedfast, stable, and 
constant in this faith, were chosen and ap- 
pointed and (as we* term it) predestinated to 
ihis so great felicity before the foundations of 
the iv or Id ivere laid. Whereof they have ft 
tvitness within ilmn, in their souls^ the Spirit 

abjection from God's presence, and despair itself" 
{Heylin's Hist. Presb. p. 347.] This last clause is 
indeed not correct. For Calvin says, in his Institutes^ 
B. % ch. 16. §„ 12. " That when in the sorrows of 
death — as it were forsaken of God, yet he nothing- 
at all swerved from the trust of his goodness." See 
Catech. Answ. 70th. This digression may be use- 
ful, to those who indulge themselves in speaking 
evil of that which they know not, who make rash as- 
sertions about Calvin's talents or opinions, without 
having read his works, unless by scraps, and with- 
out having fairly " distinguished between what h Cal- 
ztinzsm, and what 4$ 7iot". And further it may prove, 
as a thousand other instances might be brought to 
prove, that nothing has been said to show, that he 
was either weak or wicked, unless by charging him, 
on the one hand, with opinions which he never held, 
or conclusions which he positively denied, or with 
the extravagancies of intemperate writers of which 
probably he never thought ; or, on the other, with 
actions which he never did, or motives which Jbe 
never indulged. 



of Christ, the author, and therewith also the 
most sure pledge of this confidence. By the 
instinct of which divine Spirit, I do most 
surely persuade myself, that I am also by 
God's good gift, through Christ, freely made 
one of this blessed City. — Cal. Q. 93, 96. 
And Institutes Book 3. Ch. 2. §, 18- B. 4. 
Ch. 1. §. 2. 3. 

219. M. Why do you call this Church 
Holy ?— Cal. Q. 96. 

9.21 M. To what purpose dost thou call 
this Church Catholick ? 

S. It is as much as if I had called it uni- 
versal. For this company or assembly of the 
godly is not pent up in any certain place or 
time, but it contain eth and compriseth the 
universal number of the faithful, that have 
lived and shall live, in all places and ages 
since the beginning of the world, that there 
may be one body of the Church as there is 
one Christ the only head of the body. — Cal. 
Q. 97. Inst. Book 4. ch. 1. 

224. M. But maythe Church be other 
wise known than by believing, by faith ? 

S. Herein the Creed is properly in- 
treated of the congregation of those whom 
God by his secret election* hath adopted to 

* " But they who are not in Christ are reprobates. 
Reprobi vero, qui sunt extra Christum/' says the 
Helvetick Confession. Harm. Confess, p. 93. Ed. 
1581. The belief of the Reformers was that the 
race of man was lost in sin and death. — That God 
might justly leave all to perish — but while he efect r 



himself through Christ ; which Church can 
neither be seen with the eyes, nor can be 
continually known by signs. Yet there is a 
Church of God visible, or that may be seen, 
the tokens or marks whereof he doth shew 
and open unto us,— CaL Q. 100. 

247 M. But can this justification be so 
severed from good works that he that hath it, 
can want them ? 

S. No; for by faith we receive Christ 
such as he delivereth himself unto us. But 
he doth not only set us at liberty from sins 
and death, and make us at one with God, but 
also with the divine inspiration and virtue 
of the Holy Ghost doth regenerate and new* 
ly form us to the endeavour of innocency 
and holiness which we call newness of life.*-* 
Cal. Q. 126. 


Under this head the resemblame is Squatty 
strong in almost every answer. The two 
following only are selected. 

303 M. These things we see daily done, 
(viz. The advancement of the kingdom of 
God by his Spirit and Providence.) 

ed some through Christ, others were left in their fal- 
len or reprobate condition. — So that the doctrine of 
election must imply the doctrine of reprobation.— 
And Calvin shows that he who believes the one must 
admit the other. Institutes B. 3. ch. 23. 



S. These things are indeed daily done, so 
as we sufficiently perceive that God hath an 
eye both upon the godly and the wicked : 
and so as the kingdom of God may seem 
fair begun in this world : yet we pray that 
with continual en creasing, it may grow so 
far. that all the reprobate* that by the motion 
of Satan, obstinately resist and strive against 
God's truth, and refuse to submit themselves 
to the kingdom of God. being once subdued 
and destroyed, and the tyranny of Satan 
himself utterly rooted out — so as nothing 
may once breathe against the beck and power 
of God, he alone may every where glorious- 
ly reign.— Gal. Q. 268—270. 

325 M. Since to catch and entangle men 
as it were in the snares of temptation, is the 
property of Satan, why dost thou pray, that 
God lead thee not into temptation r 

S. God as he defendeth and preserveth 
them that be his* that they be not snared 
vrith the guiles of Satan, and so fall into vi- 
ces and foul sins ; so from the wicked, he 
holdeth back and ivithdraweth his help and 
succour, whereof they being destitute* blinded 
iciih lust and running headlong* are catched 
in all sorts of deceitful traps* and carried 
into all kinds of icickedness* and at length 
with custom of ill doings, as it were gath- 
ering a thick tough skin, their hearts wax 
bard, and so. they becoming bondmen and 
Yielding themselves to slavery to the tyrant. 
Satan, they run in ruin to their undoing and 
everlasting destruction*^- Cal. Q. 39?, 299-. 



334 M. What is a Sacrament ? 

S. It is an outward testifying of God's 
good will and bountifulness towards ue 
through Christ, by a visible sign represent- 
ing an invisible and spiritual grace, by which 
the promises of God, touching forgiveness of 
sins and eternal salvation given through 
Christ are, as it were, sealed and the truth 
of them is more certainly confirmed in our 
hearts.— Cal. Q. 310. 

343 M. Then tell me first, what thou 
thinkest of Baptism ? 

S. TVliereas by nature we are children of 
tvrath) that is strangers from the Church 
which is God's household ; Baptism is as it 
were a certain entry, by which we are re- 
ceived into the Church, whereof we receive 
a most substantial testimony that we are now 
in the number of the household and of the 
children of God.— Cal. Q. 323. 

345 M. What is the secret and spiritual 
grace ? 

S. It is of two sorts, that is forgiveness 
of sins and regeneration, &c. 

346 M. How so ? 

S. First, As the uncleannesses of the 
body are washed away with water, so the 
spots of the soul are washed away by for- 
giveness of sins. Secondly, The beginning 
of regeneration, that is, the mortifying of 


our nature is expressed by dipping in die 
water, or by sprinkling of it. Finally, when 
we by and by rise up again out of the water, 
under which we be for a short time, the new 
life which is the other part, and the end of 
our regeneration, is thereby represented. — 
Cal. Q. 326, 327. 

349 M. But whence have we regenera- 
tion ? 

S. None otherwise but from the death 
and resurrection of Christ ; for by the force 
of Christ's death, our old man is, after a cer- 
tain manner, crucified and mortified, and the 
corruptness of our nature is as it were buri- 
ed, that it no more live and be strong in us. 
And by the beneficial mean of his resurrec- 
tion, he giveth us grace to be newly formed 
unto a new life to obey the righteousness of 
God.— Cal. Q. 330. 

An example, in the original latin of Calvin* 
and one from JVowell, may show the re- 
semblance which strikingly runs through 
the whole Catechism in thai language. 

344 M. Recipiendi porro (Christi) mo* 
dus an non fide consistat ? 

P. Fateor. Sed hoc simul addo, fieri id, 
dum non solum mortuum credimus, quo nos 
a morte liberaret ; et suscitatum, quo nobis 
vitam acquireret : sed in nobis habitare ag- 
noscimus, nosque illi conjunctos esse eo uni- 
tatis genere, quo membra cum capite sno 



coherent : ut hujus unitatis beneficio, omni- 
um ejus bonorum particeps Ramus. — Cal. Q. 

369 M. Recipiendi ergo corporis et san- 
guinis Dominici rationem fide constare dicis ? 

A. Sane. Nam quum mortuum Chris- 
tum credimus, quo nos a morte liberaret : 
excitatum item, quo nobis vitam acquireret : 
redemptions per mortem suam parte ac vi- 
ta;, omniumque adeo suorum bonorum par- 
ticipes nos habet, eaque conjunctione, qua 
caput, et sua membra inter se coherent, 
arcana, mirificaque spiritus sui virtute sibi 
copulat : ita ut nos corporis sui membra, et, 
ex ejus came atque ossibus simus,* et in 
unum cum ipso corpus coalescamus. — The 
following translation of this question and 
answer is taken from the Christian Ob- 
server, vol % p. 591. Aud it is the ques- 
tion and answer which first lead to a com- 
parison of the two Catechisms. Tliey omit 
the clause, " and be of his flesh and bones." 

" Master. The mode of receiving the 
body and blood of Christ consists then in 
Faith ? 

" Pupil. Undoubtedly. For as we be- 
lieve Christ to have died in order to deliver 
us from death, and to have risen again to 
procure life for us, hence he makes us par- 
takers of the redemption purchased by his 
death, of his life and of all other his benefits ; 

* This clause* ?s in Calvin's next answer. See Q, 




-and by this conjunction, which innles tht 
head with the members, he joins us with 
himself by the secret and wonderful energy 
of his Spirit/'— Gal. Q. 344. 

379 M« What is our duty that we may 
come rightly to the Lord ? s Supper r 

S. Even the same that we are taught 
in the Holy Scriptures, viz. that we should 
examine ourselves whether we be the true 
members of Christ. — Cal. Q. 357, 358. 

384 M. Ought the Pastors to receive all 
indifferently without choice to the Sacra- 
ments ? 

S. In old time, when men grown and 
full of years, came to our religion, they were 
not admitted so much as to Baptism, unless 
there were first assurance had of their faith 
in the chief Articles of the Christian relig- 
ion. Now because only infants are bap- 
tized there can be no choice made. It is 
otherwise of the Lord's Supper, whereunto 
none come but they that are grown in years : 
if any be openly known to be unworthy, the 
Pastor ought not to admit him to the Supper, 
because it cannot be done without profane 
abuse of the Sacrament. — Cal. Q. 368, 369. 

385 M. Why did not the Lord then ex- 
clude the traitor Judas from communicating 
of his Supper r 

S. Because his wickedness, however it 
was known to the Lord, was not yet at that 
time openly known. — Cal. Q. 370. 

386 M. May not the ministers then put 
back hypocrites ? 



S. Xo, so long as their wickedness is se- 
cret— Cal. Q. 371. 

389 M. What remedy is then to be found 
and used for this mischief? 

S. In the Churches well ordered and well- 
mannered, there was ordained and kept a 
certain form and order of governance. — 
There were chosen elders, that is ecclesias- 
tical magistrates, to hold and keep the dis- 
cipline of the Church. Beligebantur Smmi- 
::Rls* id est magisiratus eccksiasiici, qui 
disciplinam ecclesiastic am tenerint* atque cg- 
lereitt. To these belonged the authority*, 
looking to ? and correction like censors. Ad 
hos auetoritas. animadversio atque Castigatio 
Ccnsoria pertinehant : These calling to them 
also the Pastor, if they knew any, that either 
with false opinions or troublesome errors^ 
or vain superstitions, or with corrupt and 
wicked life, brought publickly any great of- 
fence to the Church of God, and which migin 
Hot come without profaning the Lord's Sup- 
per, did put back such from the communion, 
and rejected them and did not admit them 
again, till they had tvith public!: penance sat- 
isfied the Church , donee poenitentia jmbUca 
Ecclesice satisfecissent. — CaL Q. 3T3. 

Whatever, Sir, may be the effect of the 
comparison of the above questions and an- 
swers, with those to which the references are 
made, on the minds of those readers who 
have been disposed to disclaim all reseni- 


blance between the doctrines of Faith which 
they receive, and the legitimate opinions of 
Calvin, I feel some confidence, that every 
candid enquirer for the truth, that every one 
desirous of promoting brotherly love, will 
admit, that the Reformers were closely 
agreed in the doctrines of Faith, however 
they might differ about the rites of the 
Church. And all those at the present clay, 
who are actuated by that love to the cause 
of Christ, which influenced the fathers of 
the reformation, to merge their differencies 
in a harmony of confessions, will readily con- 
cede, that the larger and lesser Catechisms 
of the English Church, at the same time, that 
they are framed according to the word of 
God, also most unequivocally agree with 
the doctrinal system of Calvin, and of all 
the foreign reformed Churches. And in this 
view of the subject, it appears to me, that 
all caricatures of Calvinism/' strictly so 
called, are constructive libels," not only 
upon Cranmer, Parker, Grind al, and 
Jewell, but upon the whole Convocation of 
156£:, and the very Articles ofjaith, adopted 
by that venerable body. 

You have, Sir, seen too much of the pre- 
dominant qualities of controversies, not to 
know very well, that in the management 
of them, often prevails a spirit of obstinacy, 
which precludes all meekness, and impels 
the disputants, however foiled and vanquish- 
ed, to renew the contest, and abide by their 



assertions, with a positiveness proportion- 
ate to the weakness of their cause. They 
espouse their arguments, as though they 
were bound by the emphatick injunction, 
which the Lacedemonian youths received 
when they took their bucklers from the 
hands of their mothers : retvretv crags *j era. 
Keep this or die. But the disciple of Jesus 
should consider himself bound by the divine 
injunction of his Master — These things have 
I commanded you, that ye love one another. 
The object of the Christian disputant should 
be truth, and not victory ; purity and not 
party. Like the wise warrior, he should 
abandon those positions, which he cannot 
maintain, according to the form of whole- 
some words, or without introducing his own 
passions and the prejudices of others ; those 
very unworthy auxiliaries in the cause of 
Christ. There are, it must be confessed on 
all hands, points in theology hard to be un- 
derstood; doctrines which extend them- 
selves beyond the reach of our intellectual 
vision; and are co-ordinate with the incom- 
prehensibility of God. Let man, with all 
his plastick powers, invent what system of 
divinity he will, the moment in which he 
undertakes to clear it from the objections 
which, in his view, bear against the systems 
of others, he finds himself in as deep or 
deeper difficulties, and at length after all 
his restive efforts, and as the case may be, 
hard speeches against the absolute and irres- 



pective decrees oT God, he is driven to the, 
painful necessity of retiring for his own de- 
fence behind the intrenchments of incom- 
prehensible mystery. That this is the case 
is clearly evincible, from a fair examination 
of that plausible system of theology, which 
is circumscribed by the foreknowledge of 
God, for the purpose of excluding and de- 
nying his determinate counsel or decrees, 
and his election by grace. For I think that 
no course of reasoning will convince a man 
of common sense, whose eye is awake to see 
the truth, that an event can be foreknown aa 
certainly to come to pass, unless that cer- 
tainty is absolute, and if it is, then there is 
no difference in the necessity implied in. 
saying that God has decreed an event, or 
saying that he foreknows it, for he can, with 
no propriety, be said to foreknow all things, 
unless all things are determined in the coun- 
sel of his own will. Changing the term 
does not change the nature of the necessity? 
which rests upon the event, for it is equally 
strong whether we say it is foreknown or 
foreordained. Great and good men have- 
candidly differed on these points, as Melanc- 
thon and Calvin, though I apprehend, tha^ 
their difference was mt>re in the mode efi* 
explanation which they used, than in the 
things themselves. And while each of those 
men was confident that the other held the 
sound integrity of the gospel, they laboured- 
like brothers, to preserve the umkv of fai+hl 


thai the cause of Christ should receive no 
injury bv their different manner of express- 
ing their views on some more mysterious 
points. The Church is one, and the unity 
of faith consists in a union of the hearts and 
affections of her members in the essential 
doctrines and moral duties, and not in a 
union of opinion, as to the circumstantials 
of order and worship. On this ground dif- 
ferent denominations may unite their hearts 
and their labours, in extending the peace 
and prosperity of the Church through a 
wider circle. It is a divine warfare to 
recover back our lost inheritance, and to 
bring our brethren from the bondage of Sa- 
tan, from the prisons of darkness and death, 
into the kingdom of life and to the privileg- 
es of the household of their rightful Lord* 
Here is the noblest object for union, the 
fairest prospect of success, for in this busi- 
ness, we become co-workers with God. — 
The events which indicate a day of better 
things to the Church of Christ, are passing 
rapidly and awfully on the current of time. 
And some great crisis in the affairs of Zion 
is apparently approaching. He who has the 
government on his shoulders, is overturn- 
ing the kingdoms of this world, ire may 
Mimbly trust, for the predicted purpose of 
establishing his own. The signs of the 
titties, in tlie union of his people and the 
saccess of their efforts, should stimulate ev- 
fry heart more livelv emotions of lo?e ro 



each other and love to the cause. In cul- 
tivating this love, the members of the Church- 
es should study to lay aside their prejudi- 
ces, to keep out of view their peculiarities , 
and to preserve the unity of faith, while one 
spirit animates their efforts to do all to the 
glory of God. 

And now, dear Sir, since the space of 
earthly existence is to your view so narrow- 
ed, that every look reaches into eternity, 
since present things are diminished, to tfie 
eye of faith, into nothing, in comparison* 
with heavenly, pardon me if I tell the gen- 
erations with whose fathers you associated^ 
that fourscore and £even years, while they 
have silvered your head, paralized your 
hand, and dulled the sense of hearing, have 
still left to you, the vigour of your under- 
standing, the warm devotion of your heart* 
and the eloquence of your tongue, to vindi- 
cate in your social circle, the purity of the 
scriptures, the unity of the Church, and the 
godhead of the Redeemer. With due res 
pectfor your learning and piety, and ac- 
knowledgment of the favours I have receiv- 
ed from you in the free use of your valuable 
library ; I sincerely pray Goi to continue 
your health and social comforts, and to pro - 
long your days to see the prosperit y of Zion s 
arid that he would support and strengthen 
you by his Spirit, till you go to your fathers 
in peace. Your assured Friend, 


Bridgeport. JV%. 7th. 1814,